Our Natural Fibers
At Free Radical Ranch, our passion for fiber art is deeply rooted in the stories that each strand of fiber tells. We have a deep appreciation for the beauty and versatility of natural fibers. The lustrous long locks from our Teeswater wool sheep, Suri alpacas, and Angora goats are not just materials; they are narratives of nature, care, and creativity. These locks, with their unique curls and sheen, are not just fibers; they are stories waiting to be told. Join us as we unravel the magic behind these locks and their transformative journey from our farm to art.
Angora goats and Suri and Huacaya alpacas meeting pigs for the first time!
The Distinctive Properties of Our Fibers
1. Teeswater Wool Locks:
Known for their long, lustrous, and curly nature, Teeswater locks are a delight to work with and a favorite among fiber artists. Their natural sheen adds depth to projects and their long curls make them perfect for projects that require a touch of elegance and drama.
“Vinnie” and “Wilbur” are our Teeswater wethers from Wisconsin. “Vinnie” is the more social while “Wilbur” grows more lbs. of fleece each year.
Freshly sheared “Vinnie” and “Wilbur” still in full fleece!
2. Suri Alpaca Locks:
Suri alpacas comprise only 10% of alpacas worldwide. Their luxurious locks are renowned for their silky texture and high luster. With a silky texture and high luster, these locks drape beautifully, making them perfect for projects that require fluidity and shine. And their density means that even open, lacy patterns are still unexpectedly warm to wear.
Our award winning “Mona Lisa” has ribbons for being the top Suri alpaca in the Kentucky Classic Alpaca Show two years in a row for her especially lustrous white fiber. “Salvador” is a solid producer with more fiber in his fleece each year.
“Mona Lisa” (the kushing Suri alpaca) next to Huacaya “Christina” with “Chantelle” the llama behind the hay bale!
3. Mohair Locks from Angora Goats:
Mohair is often referred to as the “diamond fiber” because of its brilliance and durability. Our Angora goats produce mohair locks that shimmer, adding a unique sparkle to any creation. Their resilience and luster make them a sought-after material in the fiber art community.
Our “Daisy” grows softer locks while our “Suzie” makes up for her coarser fiber with her intensely shiny locks!
“Daisy” with her soft, fuzzy mohair locks!
Hand-Preparation: A Labor of Love
Every lock that we use undergoes a meticulous hand-preparation process. This journey begins with washing the locks in small batches, ensuring that their natural beauty is preserved. The dyeing process is an art in itself. Using Country Classics dyes, each lock is painted with multiple colors, creating a vibrant palette. The use of tiny spoons for precise dye application results in a mesmerizing play of colors. After dyeing, the locks are steamed, washed again, and dried in an Excalibur food dehydrator. This process ensures that each lock retains its beauty and quality. The result? Vibrant, multi-colored locks that are a testament to our dedication and love for the craft.
Our hand-dyeing setup with dyes in cups with tiny spoons and undyed fiber ready to go!
Sustainability and Ethical Practices
Our commitment to fiber art goes hand in hand with our dedication to sustainability. Our fiber-producing animals enjoy a natural lifestyle, with 24/7 access to the outdoors and shelter. Even if it means a lesser yield due to natural elements like mud or burrs, we prioritize their well-being. Every lock is a testament to our ethical practices, turning sunshine, pasture, and hay into luxurious fibers.
Closeup of a partially sheared “Vinnie” where you can see how muddy his legs can get!
A Glimpse into the Future
We’re on the brink of an exciting venture – a book series dedicated to fiber art that showcases these beautiful, long, lustrous locks! This series will guide readers from the basics of working with long locks to mastering advanced techniques. It’s not just a series of books; it’s a journey of discovery, creativity, and passion. Stay tuned for more details!
Hand-dyed and hand-selected Teeswater longwool locks in a weaving project!
The world of fiber art is vast and wondrous. At Free Radical Ranch, we believe in celebrating the beauty of natural fibers and the stories they hold. Our journey with fiber art has been one of discovery, passion, and creativity.
We invite you to explore the magic of long locks with us, whether through our upcoming book series or by trying your hand at creating with these unique fibers.
Join us on this journey. Let’s weave stories together!
Jennifer sharing a Suri alpaca fiber flower that will be attached to one of her signature hats. You can see the drape from here!
We cherish our community and would love to hear from you. Have you worked with any of these fibers before? Share your experiences, projects, and stories in the comments below!
Together, we weave a tapestry of creativity and passion!
Shiny mohair locks embedded within a luxurious scarf!
Discover the Magic of Long Locks at Free Radical Ranch!
Are you captivated by the allure of natural fibers and the stories they tell? Join us at Free Radical Ranch for a day of discovery and delight. Immerse yourself in the world of our Teeswater wool sheep, Suri alpacas, and Angora goats. Learn about their journey from pasture to art piece, and perhaps, take home a piece of their exquisite fiber.
Experience the joy of fiber art firsthand and let the beauty of our long locks inspire your creativity. Book your guided farm tour or enroll in one of our specialized classes today! Dive deep into the world of fiber art with us and create memories that will last a lifetime.
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15299 Parkers Grove Road
Morning View, Kentucky 41063