There is something about creating your own clothes from scratch. I mean really from scratch. This handwoven skirt started life as a Hebridean rare breed fleece. Hebridean is the blackest of black in colour. The only fleece that is truly black as opposed to nearly black
It is a double coated fleece with longer hair fibres and shorter fuzzy bits, making it interesting to spin. It also smells nicer than pretty much any other fleece so if you are a fibre sniffer it is for you!
So to begin with I carded the washed fleece with lots of coloured waste that was left over from workshops. I accumulate lots and always save it. Most was leftover ends of tops but there was a bit of silk too. Spinning it long draw waa a breeze and made sure the bits did not work their way to the back of the rolag. It took me ages mainly because even at that stage it was scary to think of cutting the hand woven fabric. But eventually you just have to, unless you want to weave scarves and towels for ever.
The fabric was woven on a 24″/60cm rigid heddle loom using a 12.5 dent heddle. This is the only loom you ever need in my opinion and i am passionate about them. I used a sewing pattern to cut the fabric but made up my own version of the pattern first, using an old sheet. and changing the size. The lining is red satin.
Woven and knitted samples for the skirt. The knitted sample was disappointing so the decision was taken to weave the skirt on a 20″ rigid heddle loom with a 10 dent heddle. The samples were woven with 7.5, 10 and 12.5 dent heddles.
The handspun yarn on the loom. It was made from Hebridean fleece carded with all the coloured bits left over from Janet’s many spinning workshops.
A Butterick pattern was used. This was the wrong size so it was enlarged and a new pattern constructed using an old sheet. This can now be adapted for any skirt I make in the future.
The skirt fits well, the fabric is durable and it has been worn lots.