A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Contact | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
October News: Kindness Craft Challenge   Vote for your favorite entry by Sunday, October 15!
Total Members: 314,458
Currently Running With Scissors:
196 Guests and 4 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials My Craftster Crafting Calendar City Guides Craft Shop

Pages: [1] 2  All
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: fleece help  (Read 3164 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit
« on: January 10, 2007 03:17:47 PM »

I wanted a couple of pounds of roving for my birthday, to try my hand at spinning.  What I got instead was a huge bag of raw fleece of unknown origin.  I have no experience with this, so it could be interesting  Tongue

It is freezing and snowy outside here, so I have nowhere to sort and clean the fleece.  What I did was take some of the cleaner fleece and wash it in the washer using instructions from the web.

This is after three washes:

My questions: are the yellow coloured parts no good?  or is that a natural variation of fleece?  What do I do about the parts that aren't coming clean?  are they unusable?  should I try carding it and washing again?

Thanks in advance Smiley

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.  ~ Dali
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007 04:40:40 PM »

I think the yellow parts are lanolin still left in the fleece. Once you can get that out, you can use all of the fleece. The lanolin may be holding on to the dirt and that should disappear when the lanolin is released.

I have always used Dawn dishwashing detergent and very very hot water to wash fleece and have been very happy with the results. Use more than you would for dishwashing.....like a 1/2 cup in the washer.

The water should be kept above 110 degrees to melt the lanolin and keep it in suspension in the water so it will go down the drain and not redeposit itself back on the fiber. Rinse in the same temperature of water.

« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2007 05:29:41 PM »

The tips can be cut off and you can then flick card(using a dog slicker brush) to brush out your fibre then you can spin it . After which you will have to wash again when skeined.You don't have to cut much off the tip just the crusty bit, the yellow will most likely wash out later. Or you can put it through a drum carder if you don't want to flick comb it.It looks like a really nice fleece.Oh and if you want the fleece completely grease free add some washing soda to the first wash.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2007 05:37:28 PM »

I don't know what the fleece you started with looks like, but when I get especially dirty fleece, I soak it in warm to cool water overnight or for several hours. Then wash it in your prefered way. The worst fleece I had I did the soak thing several times before I ever washed it and it came out very clean.

What this does is soften the dirt that may be hardened in the tips and some dirt will drop to the bottom of the container you use, so be careful when removing the wool to not redeposit it.

The fleece you have already washed is ok to just put through the carder, just first loosen up the tips by flicking them or just pull them apart with your fingers.
Offline Offline

Posts: 128
Joined: 09-Sep-2006

Ribbit Ribbit!

View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007 05:52:12 PM »

Something else to consider is that the yellow could be stained in there. Something called "yolked" or something, like an egg yolk. I would suggest taking the yellow sections between your finger tips and pulling it apart. That should give you a good indication of whether there is still lanolin or if it is stained.
Stained fleece doesn't make it unusable, it just mostly means that you have to dye it.
Trying searching the web for info or any of the various spinning groups. Unfortunately I don't know that much about it. It just seems to me that after 3 washing, the fibers should be a *little* bit cleaner than that.

« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007 07:39:39 PM »

Artsie - I had some fleece like that.  It is probably WAY cleaner than it was when you started?  Are you spinning on spindles or wheel?

If on spindles, you can flick or card and proceed to spinning with the added benefit of softer hands from the lanolin.

If on a wheel, you might want to get it a bit cleaner.  Try soaking it overnight like pp said.  I've found that helps.

Remember, even dirty/scratchy/thick-like-a-rope fiber (yarn) is good for something.  Maybe a felted bag?

« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2007 07:43:39 PM »

Oh yeah.  It might help not to use the garment bag.  You just have to be sure to agitate the fleece VERY LITTLE. I filled the tub, let it soak, then spun it in the machine. I got mine cleaner without the bag than when I washed it with the bag.  One caveat - make sure you get as much of the wool out of the washing machine and run another cycle immediately so that any stray wool gets washed out of the hoses and doesn't settle in.

If you have problems later, ask me about how to take a washing machine apart so that you can unplug the pump hose. I'm an expert at that. Embarrassed

« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2007 08:16:03 PM »

Thanks for the input.

I think part of the problem might be that we have very hard water.  And I don't think I was putting enough detergent in. 

The yellow parts do feel different/tacky - so I think it is lanolin.  I've taken a small bit of it and am washing it again with a degreasing laundry additive (Simple Green - it's what hubby uses to clean our silkscreens).  Not sure if it's safe/appropriate for wool, but it should at least confirm whether it is lanolin or not.

It was very dirty wool when I started, so the next round I will try soaking beforehand. 

I tried carding a little (with two old dog brushes - I need to go shopping!) and it really does feel beautiful.  The little bits of dirt came right out, so it's only the yellow that is perplexing me.  I will be using a drop spindle, so maybe the residual lanolin won't matter.  Does it affect dyeing?

I like the idea of washing it in the washer without a bag, but the prospects of gumming up the washer are a little scary!

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.  ~ Dali
Offline Offline

Posts: 248
Joined: 21-Aug-2005

You can never have enough yarn...

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007 07:59:14 AM »

Are you using dawn soap to wash it?

I recently purchased 12 pounds of raw fleece right off the sheep.

Some of it has come clean with 3 to 4 dunks in really hot water and lots of dawn.

Some of it has yet to come clean.

It seems like it comes clean easier if I pull apart the locks in to smaller pieces.

There are lots of detail on my blog. http://mmandmyy.blogspot.com/

Good luck!


« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2007 11:54:17 AM »

I've got to second the whole Dawn soap thing -- I've used it on the raw fleece I've got sitting here (and there's a bit -- we live next to some sheep farmers who usually just THROW IT AWAY.  They're 4-H'ers, so these are pets.  The wool's just a byproduct, can you believe it!?), and Dawn's about the only thing that will take all that nasty lanolin out of it and make it smell a little less gamey. Smiley

I've had batches, especially after a particularly cold winter (not sure if one relates to the other, but I do notice it more after a cold winter than a mild one), that take NUMEROUS dunkings and soakings.  Sometimes 24 hour soakings and then a couple of washes afterward in the bathtub.

I think it just depends on the animal.

creative inspiration:
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] 2  All Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Jump to:  

only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search

Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Mini Top Hat
They Only Love You For Your Brain
Meatless Monday: Creamy Spinach and Potato Baked Eggs

Support Craftster
Become a
Friend of Craftster

Buy Craftster Swag
Buy Craft Supplies

Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...

Follow Craftster...

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Copyright ©2003-2017, Craftster.org an Internet Brands company.