Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Blending Top Coat Roving Fibers

In the Sarafina Art House we like to have fun with fibers to come up with our house carded blends.
Sara continually creates special blends with fibers for her own use which then work their way over to items that are available to you through our SarafinaFiberArt Website.

On Friday, March 9, 2018 Sara went live through the Sarafina Fiber Art Facebook page with this video to explain a bit about color blending and makes three kinds of wool batts.

At the Sarafina Art House, we receive a lot of phone calls and emails asking us for specific colors for very specific projects, and we often suggest picking up a few different fibers and blending them to get the result you want. In the Carding Fiber: Color and Texture Video, Sara discusses which fibers she picks to make a core wool blend, top coat blend, and a fur line blend.

A great place to get you started on your color blending adventure would be with our line of Top Coat Roving Samplers.

To achieve similar results to what our photo shows, grab a Sarafina™ Roving Sampler Pack and pull equal amounts of each color. 
We like to use our Strauch Drum Carders to blend colors because we work in larger batches, but if you have a pair of hand carders, you can get the blending job done.

These samples below were passed through the small drum carder 3 times.

Sarafina™ Berries Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Super Fruits Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Summer Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Spring Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Easter Egg Sampler
Sarafina™ Americana Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Forest Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Natural Lights Roving Sampler
Sarafina™ Natural Darks Roving Sampler

 The process of blending fibers on a drum carder is pretty simple, but you must pay attention so you do not get hurt as there are moving sharp parts. Check out the Sarafina™ Carding Fiber Video.

Jennifer using the Strauch Petite Belt Drive Drum Carder

First you pull the colors you want to blend.

Align some of the fibers so they will feed into the carder.

Gently place your hand on the fibers as they feed in giving them a little resistance so they are not sucked in all at once. Please watch your fingers as the blades are SHARP!

Continue to add more fibers until the larger drum is full.

Remove the fibers from the carder, pull the fibers apart into smaller sections, then run them through the carder again a little at a time. Repeat this process until your fibers are blended as much as you want (we usually blend 3 to 4 times through).

Sarafina™ Berries Blended on the Drum Carder - 4 times through.

Here is a link to watch Sara show how to blend fibers using the Sarafina™ 8" hand carders.

Marsha's Notes: On my day off a couple of summers ago, I came into Sarafina with my tub full of top coat roving. I was on a mission to blend up a lot of new colors to use in my needle felting projects. I used the Strauch manual carder in the shop to blend all of these, just varying the amounts of certain colors to achieve new blends. It was just like mixing paint colors, but with wool. I would recommend taking photo notes of colors you use for blends as you work so you know how to repeat it if you love something. And if you don't love it, you can always break it up and blend it with other colors to see what else you can make.

Grab all of the Sarafina™ top coat colors and really have some fun blending colors!

I was also working on some wet felting vessels and wanted to combine merino fibers to make new colors. I did not need large amounts of these blended, so I opted for using my 8" Sarafina™ Hand Carders which made an easy job of creating nice floaty colors. But we will save those color blends for future blog posts. 
Sarafina™ Merino Roving (21 micron Merino) Random Hand Carder Blending.
Please be adventuresome and combine various top coats, merinos and other rovings we carry and share your results through social media with us.
Use the hashtag:
to show us your color blends!

Show off what you make with your Sarafina™ products with

We may show off some of your images through future blog posts!

Join the Sarafina Felting Fanfare group over on Facebook to show off your projects using Sarafina™ products, get help with projects, and join in our community of fiber enthusiasts.

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