From the sheep to the yarn
From the sheep, we have wool, our raw material, 100% natural, biodegradable and renewable. Merino, Corriedale, Polwarth, Crioula (a native Brazilian breed that looks like Navajo Churro), no matter what the breed, the process is the same. It needs to be washed (to remove impurities and grease), carded (the cards, which are a very thin and hard steel brush type, detangle the wool and guide the fiber in the same direction) and combed (a finer card that removes short fibers, improving yarn quality). In this process, from dirty to combed wool, it looses up to 50% of its weight.
Then, we go to the yarn production, by twisting small portions of wool into spindles, to give shape and strength. The dyeing process starts here, the yarns are divided into skeins, all of the same weight, and with special lashings that allow the action of the dyes in their entire length, without tangling or being too crowded.
We use some kinds of dyes and dyeing techniques to get the desired colors and effects. We have solid, uniform, semi-solid, variegated, multi-colored, soft or intense dyeing. For most colors, we use a variety of natural dyes such as baccharis, black wattle, indigo, cochineal, logwood and brazilwood. Some are harvested right here in our region, some come from other parts of the country.
We dye our yarns in a totally handcrafted process, in small quantities, a maximum of 1 Kg (2 lb) at a time, which makes them unique. From one batch to another there are always slight variations in both color and dye uniformity, which is expected in this kind of work. So it is always important to buy the right amount of yarn to make a piece, or a little more, because there will hardly be another one.