Boiled wool or fulled wool is material that has been knitted first, then shrunk by washing with hot water, soap and agitation. It is similar to felting because it allows the protein scales on the surface of the wool to interlock, but is also unique because the resulting fabric has a different structure and usually more ability to drape. It makes garments that are naturally warm, breathable and durable. Wool is a remarkable material that is being rediscovered today because it is such a pleasure to wear. It is also a renewable resource that preserves open spaces. There are a variety of sheep breeds that produce wools with different characteristics. Merino wool felts very quickly and makes an incredibly soft, lightweight material.
My family has been involved in the wool business for years. My father was a wool merchant, selling raw wool to the many mills that used to exist in Northern New England. He and my mother opened a fabric store in Conway, New Hampshire, which featured woolen fabric and yarn. I started working there when I was 13 years old and learned the traditional crafts of sewing, knitting, weaving, and rug braiding. Although the store closed many years ago, my love of fiber and color remained. I have also taken up dyeing and have dyed the specialty colors you see in the work. I use locally sourced yarns to make the fabric on a hand powered knitting machine, shrink it, and then sew it into the garments you see here. I hope you enjoy them.