Berlin Wool

Display of Berlin wool in various colours. Display of Berlin wool in various colours.

Berlin wool is a type of wool fibre derived from Merino sheep in Saxony, Germany. In the nineteenth century, the wool was sent to the city of Gotha to be combed (worsted), spun and then taken to Berlin where it was dyed and sold. The wool was softer and separated more easily into strands than types of wool from England and the Netherlands, which were widely used at the time.

This meant that Berlin wool was easier to work with, especially for crewel embroidery and the form of embroidery that soon become known as Berlin wool work. The wool also easily absorbed the new aniline dyes, which were developed from the mid-1850's onwards, and soon the wool was available in a previously unavailable variety of bright colours and shades. Although the popularity of Berlin wool work declined by the 1880's, the production of Berlin wool only ended in the 1930's.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Zephyr yarn.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 26 June 2016).


Last modified on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 15:38
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