ARTISANAL PROCESS / EZCARAY WOOL
The quality of its wool products has made the town of Ezcaray in La Rioja internationally famous. Its raw material is mohair and merino wool, worked into blankets, scarves, and shawls.
This work has been carried out since the 15th century by master carders, shearers, dyers, and weavers. It is an artisanal process from start to finish, from washing to dyeing the wool and finishing it. All of it is done with great care and the necessary time.
PREPARATION AND DYEING OF THE FIBER
The wool is purchased in hanks with its original color. In order to give them color, it is necessary to "degrease" them, as the dye does not penetrate the strands with the grease.
First, it is placed in a high-temperature soap and water bath, and the hanks are given six turns and 18 passes so that the soap enters the fibers and the grease settles. In the rinsing tub, the wool is cleaned of detergents and left to drain.
Then it is transferred to the dye vat with hot water, where the "mordant" is poured in to fix the color to the wool. From there, it goes to the centrifuge, and it is hung on levers to begin drying. Like the best wine, mohair also needs time to absorb the moisture it needs.
After selecting the desired colors, the hanks are transferred to bobbins and hand-mounted on the warp, where the desired width is given to the blanket.
From the warping mill, it goes to the folder and then to the loom, where the bobbins will feed the weft with thread and the desired length of fabric will be made.
Once made, the fabric is inspected to verify that there are no errors in the weave or broken threads.
CARDING AND BRUSHING
The final carding is done by hand using a natural thistle. This process gives the hair its characteristic softness.
Finally, and after a second quality control, both sides of the cloth are brushed again to remove all impurities and prepared for sale.