Recently I went on a knit date with Jo, a friend I haven’t seen in ages Jo is another fiber artist who specializes in bulky art yarns and dreads. You read that correctly. She makes dreadlocks.
Over coffee she told me, “Wool is hair as hair.”
Jo uses a combination of wet felting and a little needle felting to create her hair masterpieces. She rolls the fiber back and forth until it forms a uniform, round dread. “Its a little like making pasta,” she said.
I asked her why she prefers wool over synthetics for dreads. She informed me that synthetics get heavy and can cause skin irritation. Wool is lighter, bouncier, and has a more natural appearance. Sometimes she includes alpaca fiber, which has an even closer appearance to human hair.
Color may be one of the most important factors to Jo. Wool can be dyed any color. Synthetics often won’t take dye the way protein fibers will and come in a limited palette, primarily in natural hair colors.
She also pointed out that synthetic dreads need to be sealed while wool dreads can be washed, “[Wool dreads are] amazingly light and a really wonderful way to change your look without having to ruin your hair.”
Jo combines color theory, a variety of wool breeds, and add-ins like beads or yarn to achieve unique textures and visual interest.
“You can even add angelina for some sparkle!”
Photo credit: Josephine