Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

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VixenSingsBlack
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Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by VixenSingsBlack » Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:47 pm

Questions 1-4:buying the right wool
1) What do I buy?
100% Merino Wool Roving Tops. Be sure it is NOT superwash and NOT pencil roving. (Superwash means it won't shrink when felting. Pencil roving is very very thin; making dreads from it would produce tiny results.)
2) Where do I buy?
Instore: If you live in an area with lots of sheep, lots of other woolen products, or lots of crafts stores, chances are you can buy roving at a storefront. Just call around and ask for 100% Merino Wool Roving--NOT superwash, NOT pencil.
Online USA: http://www.BlueGooseGlen.com (my favorite); Etsy.com; Ebay.com
Online UK*: Ebay.co.uk ; Etsy.com ; http://www.winghamwoolwork.co.uk ; http://sarastexturecrafts.wordpress.com/ * http://www.vikingloom.co.uk/ [also a storefront in York*] (UKers if you have more to add, let me know)
Online AUS: Ebay.com; Etsy.com; ??? (Ozzies please help me build this list!)
3) How expensive is it?
USA: $1.25-$2 per ounce of solid colored dyed roving is what I normally pay.
UK*: approximately £2.45 for 100g
AUS: er??? anyone
4) How much do I buy?
If you've never ever felted before, I suggest buying a small amount (1 to 3 oz). Work with that small amount and see if this is an activity you really want to do.
Once you're comfortable, I suggest buying 1 pound (16oz) of roving to do a full head of medium length DEs install or decent falls. If you need more, you can always get more. There is more information regarding this here, including an equation: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=8675&p=139792#p139792

Questions 5-6:prepping the wool
5) How do I get them the right length?
When you get your roving, you'll notice that it's like a thick, long snake. But you need to turn it into individual dreads. Start with length. If you want 20 inch long DEs, then measure out a 40 inch piece of roving. Grip tightly on either side of the 40 inch mark and tug--the roving should rip, leaving wispy ends. These wispy bits will be your tapered ends.
6) Dread width/thickness?
Once you've got your lengths cut, you'll probably notice that the roving is quite thick. Most people making dreads from it will split the wool length wise into two parts (sometimes 3). Definitely do this after determining length. If you want very huge roving, then don't split it. Keep in mind this means more difficult felting because of the thickness, but produces great results similar to FraggleLox (seen here).*

Questions 7-8:making dreads
7)How do I felt?
RivetLicker has made a video tutorial seen here. There's also a text/picture tutorial by Abz here. I suggest reading and looking through Abz's, then watching RivetLickers. When felting you'll probably get sopping wet, burned a little bit, and massively cramped--but it's well worth it!
8) Transition dying, Rainbow Dying, Hand Painted, UV Colors, and more generally making them pretty colors?
Visit this thread to learn about dying wool with Food Coloring and visit this one to learn about UV colors and and this one about using Jacquard iDye and this one for more about Jacquard iDye & transition dying.

Other concerns:

Help! My dreads have ugly cracks in them? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6532&p=109070&hilit=cracks#p109070

Crinkly/Curly/Wiggly wool dreads? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7433

Striped wool dreads? viewtopic.php?f=65&t=337 OR viewtopic.php?f=65&t=153

Candy cane wool dreads? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2752

Other types of wool (alpaca, corriedale, camel, etc)? Other wools like corriedale and alpaca are usable. Often times, they are more difficult to felt, but that all depends on the fineness of the wool. The finer the wool, the faster it will felt--to tell how fine any wool roving is look at the micron count OR Bradford Spinning Count System #. The micron count measures the diameter of the individual wool fibers. 20 and below will be easy to felt. The Bradford Spinning Count System predicts the # of 560 yard skeins you could spin from 1lb of clean fleece. The higher the #, the finer the wool. Your average merino is a 64 count on the Bradford system*. For more info on micron count & Bradford system, click here* viewtopic.php?f=18&t=241

Best soap to felt with? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=6226 OR viewtopic.php?f=18&t=3549

Micron count? What's that about? viewtopic.php?f=18&t=241

*Special Thanks to: CyberWench
*Special Thanks to: Jane Doe
*Special Thanks to: Squidgy
*Special Thanks to: Glitter Bat
*Special Thanks to: Elokin

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by cyberwench » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:50 pm

UK wool supplier: http://www.winghamwoolwork.co.uk

Price: £2.45 for 100g (3.5 oz) dyed wool

I've used them a couple of times (although not recently) and they've always been fine to deal with and send stuff out quickly.

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Squidgy » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:56 am

UK wool supplier- Sara's Texture Crafts, either on ebay or her own website:

http://www.sarastexturecrafts.com

Sara is always friendsly, helpful and has a huge range of stock available!!!
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by tinkajinx89 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:59 am

would Corriedale wool work as well?
this site says that it's good for felting, and there are a few other ones there too that say it's good for felting too. Like the Polwarth. http://stores.birkelandwool.com/-strse- ... s/Page.bok
Thought I'd ask first, thanks!

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Phoenix » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:46 am

Corriedale can be felted but it has a corser texture than merino, so the resulting dreads won't be as soft.

and from the original post:
Other types of wool (alpaca, corriedale, camel, etc)? Other wools like corriedale and alpaca are usable. Often times, they are more difficult to felt, but that all depends on the fineness of the wool. The finer the wool, the faster it will felt--to tell how fine any wool roving is look at the micron count. The micron count measures the diameter of the individual wool fibers. 20+ will be easy to felt. For more info on micron count, click here* viewtopic.php?f=18&t=241

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by tinkajinx89 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:22 pm

*facepalm* oops! I guess I missed that part. Thanks a bunch!

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Phoenix
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Phoenix » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:24 pm

Hehe, don't worry about it. I had to edit the quote into my post as I didn't see it when I first replied..

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by runningwithlola » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:53 pm

Two questions:

can roving dreads be reused? Can you wear them for a few weeks, take them out, and perhaps freshen them up a bit, and reuse them? Or does the wearing permanently flatten them at the braid and make them trash after 1 use?

And does anybody know of a place to buy roving *IRL* in the us?? I don't have a credit card or any money in my paypal account, so in general I can't buy stuff online from retailers. But my scalp is stressed and I want to try roving instead of KK dreads, my hair is pretty thin.

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by VixenSingsBlack » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:40 am

runningwithlola wrote:can roving dreads be reused? Can you wear them for a few weeks, take them out, and perhaps freshen them up a bit, and reuse them? Or does the wearing permanently flatten them at the braid and make them trash after 1 use?
If you felt appropriately, yes. If you felt the rovings nice and tight, they can be reused and reused forever. In between wearings, give them a luke warm bath in some woolite by hand to freshen them. Be sure to get them dry fast--if they're wet for 12+ hours they could begin to rot. So hang them in a dry place, maybe even outside in the sun/breeze if it's an option. Don't pop them in the dryer.
runningwithlola wrote:And does anybody know of a place to buy roving *IRL* in the us?? I don't have a credit card or any money in my paypal account, so in general I can't buy stuff online from retailers.
I know that the hobby lobby by my place has a very small roving selection, but heck, you're in Chicago! Up there should be lots of places with roving. Here's what to do: Go to Google Maps and type in Chicago IL (or your actual city/area). Next, type the word "knit" after your place name. This should bring up a bunch of knitting shops. Start with the nearest place and call them--ask if they sell Merino Roving appropriate for wet felting and how much per oz it is. Just keep calling and eventually you'll bump into a place that does.
runningwithlola wrote:But my scalp is stressed and I want to try roving instead of KK dreads, my hair is pretty thin.
For thin hair that needs a rest, maybe try some Faux Roving. It's a lot lighter than KK, and even lighter than roving. (Yes, I like to pimp my stuff around the board.) My tut is here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=1373

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by runningwithlola » Sat Jul 25, 2009 2:15 am

VixenSingsBlack wrote:
If you felt appropriately, yes. If you felt the rovings nice and tight, they can be reused and reused forever. In between wearings, give them a luke warm bath in some woolite by hand to freshen them. Be sure to get them dry fast--if they're wet for 12+ hours they could begin to rot. So hang them in a dry place, maybe even outside in the sun/breeze if it's an option. Don't pop them in the dryer.
If I want to reuse them, and thus they need to be nice and tight, do I need to start with more roving to begin with?
runningwithlola wrote:And does anybody know of a place to buy roving *IRL* in the us?? I don't have a credit card or any money in my paypal account, so in general I can't buy stuff online from retailers.
I know that the hobby lobby by my place has a very small roving selection, but heck, you're in Chicago! Up there should be lots of places with roving. Here's what to do: Go to Google Maps and type in Chicago IL (or your actual city/area). Next, type the word "knit" after your place name. This should bring up a bunch of knitting shops. Start with the nearest place and call them--ask if they sell Merino Roving appropriate for wet felting and how much per oz it is. Just keep calling and eventually you'll bump into a place that does.
I'll try it. It just sucks, Chicago seems to be really lacking in both hair and knitting stuff (I am a knitter too). The hair shops only carry black and dark brown KK, even the big ones. I just found one that's pretty close that has 613, but that's it. No shades of reds or blondes, and not a SINGLE hair store I have found has colored KK.

And the knitting stores are kinda eh too. But i'll give it a shot. The thing that sucks is they're usually more upscale, which means $$$$. Maybe I'll just get a reloadable credit card to use for online stuff.

There is a hobby lobby near my mom and dad's, maybe I'll check that out this weekend.

For thin hair that needs a rest, maybe try some Faux Roving. It's a lot lighter than KK, and even lighter than roving. (Yes, I like to pimp my stuff around the board.) My tut is here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=1373
ha!! I'm open to just about anything! But I'm most interested in roving right now, b/c I want to be able to dye it. I"ll check out your link.
Thanks for the quick answers!

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by VixenSingsBlack » Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:52 pm

runningwithlola wrote:
If I want to reuse them, and thus they need to be nice and tight, do I need to start with more roving to begin with?
Yes. I'd say split the roving in half length wise, have a go at felting that until nice n tight, and see how wide it is. Some peeps prefer thick dreads, some prefer thin. It's all up to you!

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by tazzyface » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:06 pm

I know I've seen roving in Spotlight and Lincraft here, but I'm not sure how much it costs.
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by rivetlicker_ » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:23 pm

tazzyface wrote:I know I've seen roving in Spotlight and Lincraft here, but I'm not sure how much it costs.
I picked up 80g at spotlight at $12 full price (but paid $9 on special). Limited colours though.

Also argh! My stupid laptop falling off the ironing board video xD

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Suki_Stardust » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:25 pm

Is it possible to use Blue faced leister (B.F.L) to felt with? I'm guessing it should work quite well as long as it's not superwash (the stuff i have isn't) or should I just give it a go and report back?
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by VixenSingsBlack » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:02 am

I would love if you'd give it a go and report back, because I have some Blue Face Leicester too! The lady at the knit shop where I picked it up said it'd be fine for wet felting.

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by runningwithlola » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:40 pm

*sigh* I have heard back from 6 of the 8 knitting stores in Chicago, and so far not a one carries roving.

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Suki_Stardust » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:31 pm

VixenSingsBlack wrote:I would love if you'd give it a go and report back, because I have some Blue Face Leicester too! The lady at the knit shop where I picked it up said it'd be fine for wet felting.
It felts beautifully :) I don't know if it has anything to do with how well carded my roving was. I felt so guilty felting it because it was so lovely. The dreads are really nice and natural looking for roving. When I've finished the kit I'll post pics so you can see how the B.F.L looks felted.
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by glitterbat » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:22 pm

I spotted bags of roving in a shop in York, UK yesterday afternoon! Think it was about £1.65 (maybe?) for a 50g bag, lots and lots of beautiful colours.

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Moody108 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:27 pm

thanks for this VSB :)

and above poster-I'm gonna go looking there next time I visit my family in York!
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by HyprShkk!! » Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:09 pm

OH! Texere Yarns in Bradford. (England, lol)
It's really good.
A big warehouse full of every type of wool and and whatever you need!
Really rather good!


http://www.texere-yarns.co.uk/index.html
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by runningwithlola » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:15 pm

I was at Loopy Yarns in the loop (in Chicago) last week, and they have a decent selection of roving. It's $2.50/oz. :)

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Vex88 » Wed May 12, 2010 11:23 am

does 100% merino translate as 100s ?? i looked on one of the sites and could only find 64s.. would that work as well?
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by MrsEss » Sun Jul 18, 2010 8:53 pm

Vex88 wrote:does 100% merino translate as 100s ?? i looked on one of the sites and could only find 64s.. would that work as well?
100s is super fine...most roving is 64's (the the staple count) 64 is equal to 21 micron, the lower the micron the finer the roving. (ie 18 micro will felt really easily, whereas 24 micro requires a little more work)

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=241&start=0 may help you a bit more :D
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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by Synful-Synthetics » Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:30 am

This helped me so much. I have known for a couple of years how to make roving dreads, and I LOVE to do it. but finding the Merino roving where I live in really hard, and when I do it's always super expensive and there's never much of it.
I am so exited now that I know there is a pretty good supplier close to Canada

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Re: Wool roving dreads FAQ - wool newbs, read me!

Post by miasmahair » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:07 am

Synful-Synthetics wrote:I am so exited now that I know there is a pretty good supplier close to Canada
There's a big list of fibrecraft shops in Canada at http://www.harmonique.ca/retailers, I haven't looked at all of them, but there seems to be a few that have different sorts of wool and do internet orders as well :)

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