Fairies so small they can hardly be seen, except for the laughing child within. Fairies so happy and kind, so gentle and wild, so go on and dance my wild fairy child.

 

Roving or Batting

Roving or Batting

Sheep come in all different shapes, colours and wool.

There are over 1000 different sheep breeds in the world.  The USA alone has 60 different breeds. As felters, knitters and weavers, we have lots to choose from.

Some sheep are bred for their meat and milk. Others for their wool.

When I started out on my journey of felt making, I tried many different types of wool. Today I use manly merino wool. It is my choice of wool as it gives me everything I look for. It is super soft, felts very well and comes in an abundance of colours.

The merino sheep was bred originally in Spain. It was a sheep that only noble men could afford. Anyone caught trying to export these sheep to another country were in deep trouble. The death penalty would have been imposed if anyone was found trying to smuggle the sheep out of the country. The Spanish wanted to keep this valued sheep all to themselves. It gave them a huge status in the world for producing one of the best textiles available at the time.

Thank god, at some stage, the Merino sheep were given as presents to Kings and Queens and so the merino sheep started to be exported to other countries.

Today, Australia is a hug exporter of this beautiful wool.

Merino wool and other wool are bought in roving or batting (fleece)

So, what is the difference?

It is best shown in a picture.

This is a picture of a batting fleece. The wool of the sheep has been washed, dyed, and carded. The wool strands have been blended, which means the hairs run in all different directions. It is very noticeable when seen through the light. The wool is sold in sheets or rolls of batting.

I use a lot of batting. And anyone that has been with me, during a course, will know what they look like.

I use batting as it saves time and I can use it straight away, without having to handle it too much.

 

Roving is different. The wool fibres have also been washed, dyed, and carded, but then combed in the same direction.   As you can see clearly here in the photo.

This is a picture of a batting fleece. The wool of the sheep has been washed, dyed, and carded. The wool strands have been blended, which means the hairs run in all different directions. It is very noticeable when seen through the light. The wool is sold in sheets or rolls of batting.

I use a lot of batting. And anyone that has been with me, during a course, will know what they look like.

I use batting as it saves time and I can use it straight away, without having to handle it too much.

 

Roving is different. The wool fibres have also been washed, dyed, and carded, but then combed in the same direction.   As you can see clearly here in the photo.

Roving wool is great for achieving different depths and colours because I can comb other colours into it.

The result from roving or batting is almost the same.

Most shops sell Merino wool in rovings. I have not come across too many that sell it in batting.

So now you know the difference between roving and batting, how do you know the quality of the wool? The lower the number the finer the wool.

I use merino wool with a micron content of 18. It makes a beautiful finish that I like.

The number tells me the thickness of each hair.

Underwear for instance is made from a very fine Merino micron of probably around 12-15.

Here is a link to some more information on how wool is measured for quality and value if you are interested.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool_measurement

So, the next time you buy wool, check the micron of your wool. Make note of it and find out for yourself what suits your project the best.

Wool is versatile and sustainable. A wonderful product for many crafts.  Let’s celebrate our sheep, no matter what breed.

Check out my supplies in my shop for 18-micron Merino wool in batting.

Link to Felt Fairies supply shop: https://feltfairies.com/craft-supplies/

Happy felting everyone

Your feedback would be most welcomed.