Bluefaced Leicester

Blue Faced Leicester (pronounced Lester) gets its name from the short wispy white hairs that grow over the black face, giving the breed a “blue” face. The breed is also referred to as: BFL, Hexham Leicester (for the area they were bred from), Blue Faced Maine and Blue Headed Maine. Bluefaced Leicester is known for its consistently predictable fleeces that are uniform throughout. BFL is often used in fiber blends because of its durability and its ability to drape well when mixed with more luxurious fibers.
Staple Length:
3 - 6 Inches
Fineness:
24 - 28 Microns (56s to 60s)
Origin:
Northhumberland, England
Dyers Notes:
Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) is one of our personal favorites, color is absorbed quickly and evenly throughout the fiber creating a very pure saturation of the intended color. Due to the nature of the fiber there will be a subtle luster to the finished product similar to an egg shell finish in regular household paints.

BFL/Silk blends: Same as above however the silk is noticed far more in the texture than the appearance.

BFL/Nylon blends: Nylon again will not change the way that the color is seen in the dying process because the nylon is so fine and blended so well into the wool that there is no change to the fiber visually.

Superwash BFL: Superwash fibers tend to absorb dye much easier than their non-superwash counterparts making for a much brighter and more intense color, however as part of the super wash process and the speed in which dye is absorbed there are small “resists” that occur within the folds of the fiber itself creating interest in the form of highlights and even flecks of white.
Spinners Notes:
A favorite amongst both novice and veteran spinners because of its long staple length and soft qualities. BFL is an ideal fiber for those of you who spin first and decide on a finished project later.
Class:
Long

Silk Blends

There are many different and exotic types of silk out there, each one having unique qualities. However, here at Into the Whirled, you will find two types; Bombyx and Tussah. Please note that if a product contains silk, it will be clearly marked on the label.
Bombyx:
Bombyx is a cultivated silk, also known as Mulberry silk; it is recognized for its intense luster, fineness and strength. A very fine silk, Bombyx has a wonderful stark white color that takes dye well and stands out in blends through its sheen. The majority of cultivated silk on the market today is Bombyx silk, therefore most silken products you find are Bombyx silk. Into the Whirled only uses Bombyx silk in our 50/50 blends.
Tussah:
Tussah silk, also known as Peace silk, is the most popular of all the wild silk types. Although a very fine silk in its own right it is a coarser fiber than Bombyx making it easier to spin. Tussah silk is recognizable by its signature honey to beige coloring and because of this takes dye in a unique fashion adding an incredible depth to the color when blended with wool of any type. Tussah silk is slightly more durable than Bombyx making it ideal for that baby project. Into the Whirled uses Tussah silk in the majority of our blends.

Superwash

Superwash is a term describing a treatment to the wool where the scales on each fiber strand are smoothed. The idea behind the process is to create a wool product that will not shrink or felt when washed. The principal is that if the scales on each individual fiber strand are altered, then they will no longer be able to cling on to one another in a way that normally would result in the fiber felting. Although the process makes it more difficult to felt fiber or yarn it is still possible. With repeated high temperature washings it is possible to see sign of felting and pilling in your finished projects. This is why I always recommend hand washing in cold water and laying flat to dry as the preferred method of woolen care. Please note that if a product is Superwash, it will be clearly marked on the label.