Wool

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Thatch, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    My wife has been getting into spinning, dyeing and such and was wondering what the situation is like in Oklahoma (and surrounding states) for finding raw fleeces. Here in the UK mutton is a pretty big part of the diet so there is more than enough wool, to the point that more often than not you get it for free. Knowing that the same situation doesn't exist in the states I was wondering what the going rate for wool is in the area. We are looking into eventually getting our own sheep but that will most likely be years out even when we return. Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance,
    Joe
     
  2. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    Check out Ebay, that is the easiest place to check going price on almost every thing.
     

  3. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Thatch, there are plenty of sheep here in my area, (western OK). I have my own spinning flock, but my neighbor raises sheep and gives her wool away. She says it isn't worth hauling off. Hopefully when you get back to Oklahoma, you will have nice neighbors like mine that will let you have all you want. :)
     
  4. JerseyLightning

    JerseyLightning Well-Known Member

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    Joe -- I've been spinning for several years now. I'm in New Jersey, about an hour-and-a-half in one direction from New York and Philadelphia in the other. Not exactly prime sheep country!

    Price for wool usually depends on the breed and the condition of the fleece. I've built up a "stable" of suppliers for wool and have paid anywhere from $1 pound at a wool auction up to $15 per pound to the breeder for English Leicester and Cotswold, with an average of around $6 - $8 per pound for various breeds (Shetland, Romney, Cheviot, etc.). Generally I buy directly from the breeders or small growers, and am a repeat buyer with those whose product I like.

    There are numerous internet sources for wool, both raw and processed. Some sites you may want to check out:

    Spinners & Weavers Housecleaning Pages at:
    http://together.net/~kbruce/kbbspin.html

    Yahoo! Group for Raw Fleece for Sale and Fiber for Sale (don't have links with me!)

    U.S. Sheep Breeders Directory
    http://www.nebraskasheep.com/directory/Breeds/
    This one you can look up growers by breed -- many have websites which post fleeces for sale and their prices, or you can contact directly. In any event, it will give you an idea of the breeders that are out there!

    Hope this is of some help to you!

    Kathleen in NJ
     
  5. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the information. I doubt my neighbors will be giving away any wool, at least the ones I have when I first get back. Looks like I'll be back in the suburbs for a bit, at least initially. That is, if I can get all the other things taken care of (like a job, vehicles, insurance and such) in time. Otherwise I'll find my self in the odd situation of being "trapped" overseas. Times a tickin' away on me. Nice to hear that there area few sheep being raised in OK though.

    On a kinda, sorta interesting note I've just started working with the former master armourer of the royal armouries, doing restoration work on medieval armour and weapons. It's great fun... I don't think there is much call for it in Oklahoma though. :)

    Thanks again.

    J
     
  6. JerseyLightning

    JerseyLightning Well-Known Member

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    Think again! There is a huge SCA community, plus the Ren Faires, a majority of which are in the Southwest. Good armor is hard to come by these days, and is priced accordingly. If you learn to build it from scratch, you may find yourself with a good niche market product!

    Kathleen
     
  7. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    On a kinda, sorta interesting note I've just started working with the former master armourer of the royal armouries, doing restoration work on medieval armour and weapons. It's great fun... I don't think there is much call for it in Oklahoma though.


    Wow! that sounds like interesting work Thatch! Can you post any pictures? :)
     
  8. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Well here are some pictures of what was in the shop last week waiting for various levels of restoration.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and here is a copy I'm working on of a 16th cent English archers bracer. It's on the block drying right now but will eventually be painted and gilt as the original.... and then we are going to subject it to ballistics tests :(

    [​IMG]

    The history channel was in the shop last week so if you've go cable you might just see the guy I work with doing some work on an upcoming show (I will be dutifully hidden away I'm sure :D )

    Hopefully this doesn't overload anyone with pictures. They are all around 15k so as to not be too much of a download.

    J
     
  9. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    Wow Thatch!!! That is soooo awesome!! I'd love to have your job!!

    Can you tell us the name of the show? I get the History channel, maybe I can catch it.
    Do you get to wear any of the armour? :haha: I'd be wanting to try it all on! :haha:
     
  10. MOgal

    MOgal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thatch, I don't know to what part of OK you will settle or when you will be back in the States but....if you are within easy driving distance of Nevada MO, send your wife (you can come too--many husbands attend as well) to the Missouri Natural Wool Growers Association Heart of America Sheep Show and Fiber Fest. It's always the first weekend after Memorial Day. The site is the Vernon County Fairgrounds, a very nice facility, right outside Nevada. There are classes on fiber arts, animal management, showing, etc., with a specialty breed show as well as a regular sheep show. It's usually a 3 day event. You can buy all kinds of fiber, equipment, animals, finished items and all sorts of goodies. The website is www.moncwga.com and it has the information re: contact people, places to stay, etc. I'm in central MO and usually go either to teach or as a participant.

    Ditto what Cowgirlone said re: market for your armor. I know a lady in Jefferson City whose husband taught himself to make chain mail from the Internet. The RenFest in Kansas City is a big one and runs for 6 weekends starting with Labor Day. Jeff City has a smaller one earlier in the summer that is a point for many of the folks to break in their acts, etc. There is a SCA group around central MO as well and several Celtic arts groups.
     
  11. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info MOgal. I will pass it along to my wife. We will be (at least to begin with) in the central part of the state, probably sometime around mid July of next year if things continue the way they are now. I'll know more in a month or two. (I hope)

    As for trying on the armour... well, no, I don't get to do that. Not that it isn't wearable, just not by me. Average height of most of these armours is in the 5'8" range. I'm 6'6" and a good 240lbs. Even ole King Henry, known for being a "big ol boy" was only 6'2"... I just get to play with it.

    J
     
  12. westbrook

    westbrook In Remembrance

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    contact the local 4H or FFA groups. I am sure the kids would be glad to kick their wool into a pile for you...of course it won't be very clean.
     
  13. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    good idea.... thanks.

    J
     
  14. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I was suprized noone from Okla. mentioned the medieval fairs in Norman and Muskogee, there is a market for armor in Okla. When you get "home" contact some of the media they do spots on things like that. One that shows on the NBC and OETA (public TV) is called "IsThis a Great State or What?" there are others too.