Washing, Carding, Spinning, and Dyeing Wool for Weaving Navajo Rugs
Churro Ram at Mom's (Leupp)
Brown Churro Ewe with one month old Lamb!!
Churro ram, white churro, churro lamb, and other sheep.
Some of mom's other sheep and Churro.
Late spring is shearing time and it sometimes depends on the weather. If it's still cold late spring then it's done the first part of June. We always look forward to shearing of our Churro sheep since we use the fleece in our weaving projects.
Shearing Churro with sister, Loretta.
Family members help with the shearing every year.
Christina, niece, helps.
Shaking churro fleece out before washing.
Family enjoy a day of washing churro fleece.
Grandma with grand kids washing churro fleece.
Fleece laid out to dry after washing.
Everyone pitches in: helping one another in the shearing of sheep, getting wool washed, carding, and spinning the wool. Growing up, I remember getting plants around Leupp, Tolani Lake, and from mountains near Flagstaff, and walnuts from Canyon Diabelo for dyeing wool. I remember it to be a family outing where we would go down to the side of the mesas and get white wash for our wool. We would dig wild carrot roots in our secrets places since plants were scarce. These roots were dried for later use. I still use wild carrots to get a pretty gold. The secret is to get the wild carrots at a certain time of the year when it's ready.
After washing and drying the fleece, it is then carded with two carders. The carding is time consuming. The carders make the fibers lie one direction then it is ready to be spun. Note: I like to spin churro without washing. It's much easier and saves time.
(to be updated soon)
Dyeing Wool Using Natural Plants
Any part of a plant can be used to dye wool. Leaves, bark, berries, roots, etc. are first gathered. They are placed in containers (enamel, tin, aluminum, cast iron, etc) with water added to dye wool.


Rabbit Brush Dyepot
Dyed w/ Sunflowers
Rabbit Brush.
Pot of sunflowers in aluminum pot.
Simmering leaves from tree in backyard.
Walnuts in enamel pot getting ready to simmer.
Osage orange chips.
Skeins of wool in cochineal (cactus bugs) dye bath.
Cast iron container w/ 2nd dye bath of Osage orange chips.
Simmering goldenrod.
Getting wool ready with alum while simmering goldenrod.
Wringing out the wool after it's been dyed.
Putting leaves in dye pot while wool from walnuts is cooling off.
Pulling & stretching skein of wool after using osage orange chips to dye wool.
Taking wool out of dye pot.
  Patiently waiting for wool to drain and cool off after dyeing.