March 16, 1988 |
Dear Polly: Would you kindly provide the directions for processing woolen coating material into "boiled wool?" I'd like to make a jacket from this fabric. - F.C.G. Dear F.C.G.: Many of us have made "boiled wool" inadvertently by washing woolens in a machine full of hot water and drying them in a hot dryer! But the following directions come from Handwoven magazine. Use a 100-percent wool fabric with a loose, big weave. (For real boiled wool, the fabric should be woven, but you can get a similar effect with loosely knitted fabric.
April 20, 1992 |
Sherry and Martin Shulewitz have spent the last four years weaving a business out of other people's leftovers. From old woolen blankets and bits of cashmere, tweed and even the end pieces of men's suits, their small company, Heritage Rugs, of Lahaska, Bucks County, produces traditional Colonial rag rugs on century-old looms. And what makes the business unusual is that each rug is made to the customer's specifications. Rag rugs were born in the 18th century in "the good old American tradition of waste not, want not," much in the same way patchwork quilts came about, Sherry Shulewitz said.
January 17, 1991 |
Flecks of green and gold glitter, which she had tossed in her hair, sparkled while Ellie Laird worked intently to wind a lumpy length of gray yarn around a wooden dowel, flush against a 3-inch wooden disk. Then the girl, almost 9, attached the end of the yarn to a notch at the top of the dowel, added another puff of wool to the already spun yarn and set the tool, called a drop spindle, spinning to twist more yarn. "Open and close, that's all these fingers do," said Nancy Wyatt, a spinner and weaver from Exton, as she showed Ellie how to control the spinning motion and feed the wool.
May 5, 2000 |
Ever shear a sheep? You can watch how they do it Saturday at the Howell Living History Farm near Lambertville at the 17th annual "Shear Fun" event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sheep-shearings are scheduled next weekend in Ridley Creek State Park and Elverson. See below.) I visited the farm the other day and got a how-to-shear-a-sheep lesson from Gary Houghton, the farm manager. There's a technique to it because a full-grown sheep weighs 200 to 300 pounds. OK, first thing you do, Houghton said, is grab the sheep.
September 12, 1993 |
In the hat business, it is tough to get ahead. The wool fedora long ago went the way of spats and morning coats. But one of the world's largest hat companies is still making wool felt hats here near Lancaster. The Bollman Hat Co. has been at it for 125 years. You would have to be a bit mad to become a hatter today. A traditional felt hat is a complex, labor-intensive product, bound by antique technology and vulnerable to the whims of fashion. Hats are not made by newcomers, but by survivors.
March 9, 2008 |
Crafting has been on the crest of a huge wave, with dedicated Web sites, "stitch-n-bitch" sewing circles, and patterns that run the gamut from the bunnies and mushrooms you sewed with your mom to swallows and pinups cribbed from Sailor Jerry. But the newest needle craft - that's right, after all this time, there's a new one - is needle felting, the process of sculpting raw wool into two- and three-dimensional items that range from hats and purses to small dogs to strangely popular trolls and elves.
March 21, 1989 |
The funniest moment at the Chanel collection occurred before the show when a chic Parisienne, dressed in head-to-toe Chanel, marched in with a folding chair tucked under her arm. She positioned herself in a prime location, opened the chair, sat down and refused to budge. While Chanel groupies may be better dressed and more ingenious than the flotsam and jetsam at the Gaultier or Montana shows, they are just as eager to see what innovations their favorite designer has wrought.
December 6, 1993 |
Since the 1880s, the Wilde family has been making woolen carpet yarn in a mill built into the side of a steep hill in Manayunk. Once, the John Wilde & Brother mill was one of dozens of textile plants lining Main Street. Today, only Wilde remains. If there is to be a fifth generation of Wilde descendants operating the massive carding and spinning machines in the old stone factory, it will only be if the current keepers of the family tradition can develop more niche markets for their wool.
June 3, 1994 |
Mayor Rendell peers at Dolly, a sheep brought to City Hall by students and faculty from W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, who gave Rendell a lesson in sheep-shearing yesterday in anticipation of the 10-day Philadelphia County Fair that begins today in Fairmount Park. Bill McFadden (right) gives the mayor tips on proper technique. The school won't get rich on the estimated five pounds of wool cut off Dolly, a 5-year-old ewe: Teachers said wool yields no more than about 60 cents a pound.
October 1, 2010 |
Bring out the chunky knits, hefty wool, and other plush accessories for the home as we burrow into sweater weather. - Caroline Tiger Big knits The raw material for these hand-knitted Neo Baskets ($45-115) is a yarn made from neoprene, an industrial rubber. Available at momastore.org. Couch cozy Eleanor Pritchard's soft, luxurious Uniform Stripe Blanket ($325) was woven in a Welsh mill from pure new Scottish wool. Available at Petulia's Folly, 1710-12 Sansom St., and at its stall (No. 42)