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Topic: Spinning with wool allergy??  (Read 1298 times)
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2007 04:08:23 AM »

First off, I must ask: are you sure that you're actually allergic to wool and not just sensitive? All wool is not created the same: it could be possible that you've only worked with coarser wools, it's possible that your skin is very sensitive and you just need to work with softer wools. Wool diameter is measured in microns: wool 30 microns and coarser is practically guaranteed to be itchy, wool 20 microns and finer should not bother most people, and wool in between 20-30 microns may or may not be itchy depending on how sensitive your skin is.

It's also been suggested that some people are allergic to chemicals (sheep dip residue, mothproofing, dye, soap residue) used in the processing of the wool.

Wool is the best fiber for learning, and medium coarse wool is easier to spin than finer wool because it tends to be longer, but if you are indeed allergic to wool, I'd recommend you try to learn with alpaca: it contains no lanolin, so shouldn't bother your skin and has some crimp to it. It might be a little on the slippery side but I'd say it's the next best fiber to learn with.

Soysilk is IMHO, one of the easier non wool fibers, but it's a little more slippery and has a tendency of getting on your shirt and up your nose when you're spinning it, and seems to always need just a little more twist than what you give it.

There are tons of other non wool fibers available, though many of them are alot more difficult to spin
Some off the top of my head:

Yak down
Qivut down
Camel down
Ecospun (recycled soda bottles)
Silk Latte (made from milk waste)
Buffalo Down
Vicuna (one day... one day, I will be able to afford to spin you!)
Chiengora (dog hair)

Both Mohair and cashmere are goat fibers and do contain grease that while scoured off, may still be somewhat present in the fiber or yarn.
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2007 08:09:25 AM »

You may want to look into the book "No sheep for you." It's a knitting book, but it would give you ideas of 'alternative' fibers. Because boy, howdy, there are a lot of them!
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2007 09:48:47 AM »

THAT TOTALLY MAKES SENSE!! cos i have worked with wool-ease, and it doesnt bother my skin that much till i put it on my head (i made a hat) then it itched ALOT, i had to take it off....i have a Mickey Mouse sweater that is 80% wool (and thats all the info they give) that i have to wear a long sleeved shirt under....

okay, so im sensitive to wool...i can jive on that...alpaca is the best way to go (if i end up buying one cos of this...lol....my hubby thinks i tend to get a bit obsessed...luckily right now we dont own our own house)...should i try to swap for some alpaca yarn, or some alpaca made items to see if i am allergic to that...i dont even know where to buy it....

**edited** i was excited...i forgot to say: THANK YOU!!!!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2007 09:49:16 AM by MissDisney » THIS ROCKS   Logged

i think im back....9 months almost to the day but i miss art, and i missed you guys!
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2007 07:24:09 AM »

(I've searched and read through all the posts in this board that looked relevant, and I've already had a lot of questions answered, but I still have a few more... )

I'm really interested in learning to spin, but sadly I'm allergic to wool. I can't even knit with it. (Nothing serious, really just hives and itchiness.)

I've been looking at fibers online (mostly on ebay) and seen stuff like hemp, bamboo, recycled sari silk, tencel, etc. It sounds like wool is generally the easiest fiber to work with, but I'm wondering if any other fibers would be suitable for learning to spin, or would they honestly be too difficult? There's a chance that I might be able to get my hands on a spinning wheel. If so, would that be more suitable for spinning such fibers, or make it easier to do? Or should I go with a drop spindle? Also, I don't know anyone who spins, so I'd be learning on my own from books, online resources, etc.

Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! Cheesy

One thing to think about about what's hard/not to learn on since you're new to spinning, then you really don't have any reference for what's hard or not, so try anything that's prepared well. I've seen posts on other boards from people who learned to spin on fibers usually thought of as "hard to spin" and had no trouble with it (other than the usual learning-something-new learning curve) because they didn't know it was hard!  And besides, any 'traditional' spinning fiber  (like alpaca, llama, wool, cotton, yak) is used to teach little children to spin (alpaca/llama in the Andes, cotton in India etc) because it's what they got.

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