Sunday, May 8, 2011

Alpaca Bag for Grand Nationals

I finished the bag for the auction/sale to benefit education for uses of alpaca fiber. It is 100% alpaca with leather trim and a cotton lining. The alpaca carded batting was first needle felted on the table top needle felting machine, then rolled on the rolling machine to remove any needle marks, then tumbled wet and soapy in the dryer to full it more. I pole wrapped one tan piece and dyed it using lanaset dyes along with a couple of other tan pieces. It has a polished stone button on the front. The natural colors of alpaca used are tan, dark brown and white.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Needle Felting Machine at the Great Western Alpaca Show!

Last weekend we brought a 36 inch table top needle felting machine to the Fiber Fiesta area at the Great Western Alpaca Show. We learned a lot about using alpaca fiber in the machine! Especially interesting was that Huacuya alpaca required a coarser felting needle. The fine needles caused it to back up in the machine. We couldn't find a difference with wool from using fine versus medium felting needles. Luckily I had half of the machine filled with fine needles and the other half with medium needles. I used the tan alpaca batting and when I came home I placed the needle felted batting on the rolling machine then let it full more by bouncing around in the dryer. I pole wrapped and shibori dyed a piece and dyed a few other pieces and now I am constructing a bag that will be displayed at the National Alpaca Show in Denver the weekend of May 21 and 22. The completed projects by a number of artists will be auctioned or sold with the proceeds going to programs which will further the awareness and use of alpaca fiber.