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What size Felting Needle do i need.

Felting needles come in many different varieties. They come in different lengths, shaft shapes, number of barbs, type of bard and shape of point. All of this can seem confusing but it doesn’t need to be. The first thing we must remember is that all felting needles are manufactured for high speed large industrial machines that makes a wide spectrum of products. Craftsmen and artist have adapted them for use as a hand-held tool. The technical names and terms have crossed over to the artist/craft community and sometimes need explanation. Below is a simplified description of each of the needles we sell. If you still have any questions, please contact us, we are happy to help.

  • Triangular Felting Needles - Barbs on 3 sides
    • 32 Gauge – This is a course needles used for quick felting. It is not suitable for detail or smooth finished work.
    • 36 Gauge – Also a course needle that can be used for quick felting. A good needle for attaching felted pieces together but not a good choice for finished or detailed.
    • 38 Gauge – This is a good all-around needle. Think of it as a medium gauge needle. It can be used for bulk felting and some detailed work. Good for sculpting but not considered a “finishing” needle.
    • 40 Gauge – This is a fine gauge needle for detail work and work that requires a smooth finish. Due to the lower number of barbs on this needle, it is not recommended for course fibers.
    • 42 Gauge – The most “fine” needle we sell. Good for detail and smooth finish.
  • Star Felting Needles - Barbs on 4 sides
    • 36 Gauge – The star needle has a forth face so it allows more barbs for quicker felting. The added face also makes this needle more suited to course fibers. Great for joining pieces together. Good for sculpting but not as suitable for details or finish work.
    • 38 Gauge – Quicker felting than the same gauge triangular needle. Will work on course fiber as well as most fine fibers. Can be used for sculpting, detail and some finish work. Great all around needle.
  • Crown Felting Needles - 1 barb per side
    • 40 gauge – This needle is used for very fine work. The most common use is to add hair or detailed fur to a project. Good needle for use on reborn dolls eyebrows, eyelashes and hair.
    • 43 gauge – This needle is used for very fine work. The most common use is to add hair or detailed fur to a project. Good needle for use on reborn dolls eyebrows, eyelashes and hair.
  • Spiral Felting Needles - 2 barbs per side
    • Spiral needles have a "twist" in the lower shaft. This needles felts as well as twists the fiber making for quicker felting.
    • 36 Gauge - Quick felting. A course needles suitable for bulk felting and joining pieces. Not suitable for finish work.
    • 38 Gauge - Quick felting. Medium gauge needle. Best all around felting needles size. Good for bulk felting, sculpting, detail and some finish work.
    • 40 Gauge - Quick felting. Fine gauge needle. Great for finish work

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The PH of logwood extract Part 1

The PH of logwood extract Part 1

I guess i was one of those people that put logwood extract in a pot with tap water and everything always worked so i never thought about process that much. After reading some post from fellow dyers that were using logwood extract purchased from my shop i got a little more curious about the process. Some of the students in this recent class were getting light grey or what i would call grey lavender while others were getting more purples. After ruling out things like high temperatures(above 180) and various modifiers like iron, I began to focus on the water in the dye bath.

 

Through some research and further reading i discovered that Logwood is very sensitive to so several things. An interesting peice of information that i came across was that Logwood was actually used at one time for determining PH. Logwood placed in an alkaline solution will turn violet/purple, placed in neutral water it turns brown and placed in acidic water it turns yellow. So you can see where im headed here, i think grey and grey lavender is all PH related.

Here is an explanation of each piece in the image.

  • Image 1:
    • Mordant with potassium alum at 15% in a bath of hot water from the sink for 30 minutes.
    • Dye bath is 1% logwood extract in regular tap water with citric acid to lower the PH to around 3.
    • Dye bath heated to 170 deg for 45 minutes.
    • The photo does not do justice to the gold color. It is REALLY rich. I love the color but you can see what an acidic dye bath does to the logwood.
  • Image 2:
    • Mordant with potassium alum at 15% in a bath of hot water from the sink for 30 minutes.
    • Dye bath is 1% logwood extract in regular tap water. PH approximately 7
    • Although the photo looks a little grey, it is defiantly light purple in real life. Back to that grey lavender thing.
  • Image 3
    • Mordant with potassium alum at 15% in a bath of hot water of tap water for 45 minutes in a pot heated to 170 deg
    • The dye pot is DISTILLED water and i increased the logwood just a little. Remember that these scarf's weight only 14 grams so doubling the logwood was only going from 0.2 grams to 0.4 grams. Not a lot of logwood either way.
    • The logwood struck almost immediately and when it came out of the pot it looked black. Again, the photo doesnt do justice, the scarf is a dark purple, almost maroon.
  • Image 4
    • Mordant at 15% with potassium Alum in a heated bath with tap water at 170 deg for 45 minutes.
    • Dye bath was 1% logwood extract and dye water is DISTILLED water with 1 tbs baking soda added to 1 gallon of water. The sample was heated to 170 deg for 45 minutes.
    • A very nice purple i think.

I had a couple more samples that were COMPLETE fails and they both had only one thing in common.........SOADA ASH. Apparently logwood does NOT like soda ash. Both samples looked like they had been dipped in weak tea. I actually scoured the scarves and tried to over dye them and got nothing so im making a mental note to put the logwood dye and the soda ash in different rooms(lol). use baking soda to adjust your PH. Its easy and cheap.

In the next part, i will determine what the difference in tap water and distilled water is with a couple more experiments to determine if the color difference is more sensitive to the water or the PH. Im still leaning toward the PH answer.

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