The new felting fibers on sale at DHG beginnig in January are pure luxury. Yak and Camel fibers in two colors, and Baby and Superfine Alpaca in three different tones that are sure to satisfy all your needs. Soft, welcoming and easy to felt - with or without using other fibers as a base.
I immediately fell in love and threw myself into a phase of intense experimentation. So here are my general impressions and some advise which I hope that you will find useful.
Yak, possibly the least well known of these fibers, is the warmest with which I have ever worked, taking its name from the animal that produces the fiber. This bovid (also know at the Tibetan Ox) originates from Tibet and lives at an altitude ranging from 4,000 to 6,000 meters. It is thanks to this habitat that it develops this warm and super soft fiber that DHG is offering in superfine micron guage, around 19 microns.
Yak is a fiber which in my opinion is often underestimated however once you work with it you soon discover its characteristics.
Like every short fiber, Yak must be laid out delicately but it felts very easily and provides a very even surface. Even with only a few grams, you can obtain warm and comfortable felt which are thin yet dense (while still flexible), with smooth surfaces and a unique handfeel.
Yak fibers allow you work easily wiht the nunofelting techinque since the fiber strongly adheres to fabric without requiring you to cover the entire surface to make the piece more stable.
The surfaces obtained have more opaque tones that those made with other fibers but this is a characteristic that definitely intrigued me and inspired me to work with it in combination with decorative pieces made with shiny yarns and materials.
I also tried mixing this splendid fiber with Merino wool and I noticed that the former tends to not completely incorporate, allowing you to design distinct shapes even in this combination of fibers.
In my opinion, Yak is perfect for making fashion and clothing accessories, both with a classic style and in a more modern style, especially for men.
Camel, available in both white and a natural light brown (which is almost the color "camel"), fascinated me for its abilities and the handfeel. It is easy to lay out and the surface effect that you obtain is adorable. It presents some tiny curls that make me thingk of Astrakhan. It is soft and have just a touch of shininess that makes it elegant.
Just like Yak fibers, Camel fibers, when combined with other wool, tends to not incorporate completely but instead remains visible on the surface. This makes it the perfect fiber for felting a design in a pattern. For example, I used it in combination with Merino wool in color Dark (black) with which I created a base capable of giving depth to the camel fiber and of enhancing its amazing curls.
In my opinion, Camel doesn't require any special effects or extravagant shapes or colors. It is a material that is beautiful in its natural state. It speaks for itself.
I hope that these small pieces of advice which I have given you will be useful and inspire you to play around a bit with these gorgeous fibers. If you have any more questions, you can ask them right here. The guys at DHG will help me to answer your questions as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I will talk to you about other fibers for felting: Baby and Superfine Alpaca... so here is another post!