Updated: Oct 15
DISCLAIMER: I am sharing with the world wide web what I have learned, used and what are my preferences when creating with wool. I, in no way condone nor abhor the use of man-made material for textiles.
Although Corriedale is the result and evolution of crossbreeding in Australia and New Zealand during the mid 1800´s, today South America accounts for 70% of the breeding population in the world, 125 strains worldwide.
A cross breed of Merino and British Lincoln Longwool. A soft, pure white, long staple, durable wool. It has all the fine qualities of merino but it can really take a beating. Perfect for gloves, outerwear and rugs.
My first Corriedale technicolored hank was purchased in 1990´s from Manos del Uruguay and I have been faithful since, both to the Co-op and for knitting or crocheting my hats, gloves, mittens, felted items and woven rugs.
Manos Del Uruguay...
A 50 year old Co-op in Uruguay has enabled rural women to have self-worth and economic freedom in poverty stricken, male dominated country areas. Worth a watch when wanting to understand the beauty of transforming fleece into wool and garments. Giving a collective independence and pride through their work- the true hidden value of Corriedale.
Corriedale wool is often unappreciated and overlooked when Merino is such a recognised fiber due to its quality, versatility and global abundance because of the hundreds of genetic strains world wide. Corriedale is a transformative wool, I have used it for soft, warm and durable accessories for the winter. I have used Corriedale in rug weaving because of its durability and anti-pilling properties and have felted it into toys and fiber art mosaics because of the retention of bright colours when hand dyed. To date I have not been disappointed when creating with it. The result of any given project exceeds my expectations.
An average ewe produces 7 kilos (15 lbs.) of wool, the length of a lock is approximately 15cm long (6 in.) It is not as soft and fine as merino would feel to the Wool Connoisseur , however transforming the raw wool to a finished object, the subtle tactile differences are hardly noticeable, if at all.
Corriedale is an even thick wool. The length of the staples makes the hand carding and spinning process quite easy, a sort of rhythm is developed when allowing the fiber to lead the way.
My best hand spun results have been a light DK weight with a lofty halo finish.
Corriedale fleece is mostly available in white and has a bight lustre, there is very limited production of natural silver grey and brown world wide.
The dye retention within the fiber is bright and shiny.
There are variations of softness depending on the geographical location and age of the sheep. A lamb produces much softer wool than a mature ewe or ram, but again the differences are hardly noticeable when transformed.
Caring for handmade Corriedale wool garments...
Despite its durability and anti-pilling properties, the correct handling and care of handmade items will ensure its lifespan.
Hand wash is always best when washing any handmade natural wool item. Soaked in lukewarm water with a sulfate-free detergent. Allow it to soak, undisturbed, for 10 minutes minimum.
When changing water, squeeze excess water from the item before introducing to clean water.
NEVER AGITATE NOR WRING WHEN WASHING.
Agitating will cause felting, Corriedale is a felting yarn.
Soak again when clearing out the soap, then rinse with cold water.
Once all excess water is squeeze out of the garment, it is to be laid flat on a surface. Corriedale is a dense wool, when wet there is added weight to the garment. It will stretch if hung to dry.
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