Some of you may be aware that last year we were advised of an unfortunate situation with our supply of HandCrafter Superfast felting wool being discontinued by the manufacturer. This announcement from our suppliercame without warning and was totally unexpected.We subsequently managed to stock up heavily for most colours, to buy time for a replacement source to be found although a small number of colours did sell through.
We realise there has been some confusion regarding the exact situation, however we have been working hard behind the scenes, and today we are pleased to be able to provide everyone with an update on how things haveprogressed.
The good news is that HandCrafter have recently managed to source a new manufacturer for this wool, and we recently received our first samples, followed shortly by our first batch of new stock. Upon testing, the new fibre appears to be a great success!
The key things we were looking for included the quality of the fibre/texture compared to the original, as well as the closeness of the colour tones. Our own feelings on these points are as follows:
The colours seem largely consistent with the original, it is not easy to tell the difference between them
The new fibre retains the same short staple length, and "easy to tear" characteristics of the original fibre.
It felts just as quickly down to an equally smooth surface
If anything, the sliver is slightly denser than the original (less fluffy fibres when handling) which we have found affords more efficient coverage when layering over core wool
The sliver thickness appears more consistent throughout the range of colours.
Overall, we're really pleased with the new product, and we hope you will find it a joy to work with for future projects.
At present, there are a number of colours for which we are still well stocked with the original fibre, and therefore will only switch over to the new fibre once the original has sold through. We feel they are close enough in colour and texture to proceed in this way.
Moving forwards, once the original colours have sold through, we are initially looking at a slightly reduced colour range of around 51 colours. As things stand, there will be a few colours (listed below) that will no longer be produced, and a few new colours added to the range. These largely concern the brighter colours whereas most of the natural animal colours have been carried over.