Batt/Pelt: A batt is wool that has been carded, usually on a drum carder or large industrial carder, into a fluffy sheet as wide as the carder and as thick as the amount of wool the carder will hold. Batts can be all one type of fiber, a blend of different fibers, a layering of fibers, or a sheet of fibers in adjacent stripes. At Sarafina, we like to make batts by blending top shelf fibers to create custom colors and textures for use as top coat in needle felting, wet felting, and spinning. We often call these batts "pelts" as they are perfect for the top coat of many animals.
Core Wool: We use the term "core" to refer to a wool texture that we would use as the core of our sculpture or to create the dimensional shapes of the sculpture. Core wool is lofty and fuzzy and ours is usually in roving form. It should condense easily, however, and felt quickly. Using a core wool that has some of the colors of your final piece is helpful for a natural blend.
Locks and Curls: Locks and Curls come from sheep, goats, or other long haired fiber animals and is left un-carded or combed. At Sarafina, we buy raw fleeces from small sheep farms, wash, and prepare them. Locks are treasured for creating texture, hair, beards, curls, and just as a wonder of nature.
Roving: The term "roving" applies to the method in which wool has been prepared for use. It is carded, and then from the carder, the wool is pulled and slightly twisted into a long continuous strip. Roving can be fuzzy or smooth and any color or type of wool. It can also be quite thin or as thick as a wrist. The fibers are slightly crisscrossed but mostly aligned to make pulling even amounts of wool for wrapping or making shapes very easy.
Top: Top (not to be confused with "top coat") is fiber that has been combed into alignment. Usually the top method of preparation is for long and/or fine fiber. Top produces a long rope but, unlike roving, it has no twist or crisscross to the fibers. We often use top layered directly into pelts or carded together to create our batts. Depending on the fiber, it could also be used in a long fur method to stick off of your sculpture. Spinners use top to create a truly worsted yarn which is a dense smooth yarn with little loft.
Top Coat: We created the term "top coat" to refer to fiber that we would use as the color and texture of the outer or final layer of a sculpture. Top coat fiber can be any wool. Core can be a top coat but I would not use top coat as core because it is either too costly or not the correct texture. Included under our Top Coat umbrella are our Top Coat Roving, Merino, and House Carded Pelts and Batts.
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