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« on: March 07, 2010 01:10:06 PM »

Ok so I asked my friends Mom for some wool off sheep. I was given a nice bag full of wool. It's dirty and smells well like a sheep! I know that I want to try spinning with a drop spindel but I have no idea how to get it ready for that. I know I need to card it, remember that frow waaaaay back in the day helping my Gran spin but that's it. I'm assumeing that I have to clean it some how. Any help will be great!


« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010 07:42:21 AM »

Oh boy...you might want to google "How to wash raw fleece." It's quite an undertaking in my opinion, but can be fun and is very rewarding. Basically in short you have to first melt the lanolin (sticky stuff) off of the wool. You do this by soaking it in extremely hot water with a grease cutting agent, ie Dawn dishsoap. Might take a couple soaks. Then you have to let it dry. And then you can card it or spin it right from the lock. Good luck!

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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010 08:49:58 PM »

I would suggest laying the wool out on an old sheet on the floor or a table and taking a look at it. If its whats called seconds it may not be worth it. You will see seconds as like small wads of fiber where if you pick it out and try pulling it apart its like a mans beard clippings

So first go through your wool and see what you can grab thats long enough to spin.

Stack this up and get ready to wash. If you haven't done this before you may want to just start in a small batch which you can do in a dish pan, a kitty litter box, a small rubbermaid shoe container etc. Put scalding hot water in the container, add some dawn (about 2x the amount youd do dishes with) lay the wool out somewhat neatly on a tea towel or old pillow case or in a lingerie bag and gently poke into the water. don't push or swirl or make any sudden movements it scares the fleece! no actually it felts it just lay it in, poke a few times into the water and leave it

Keep an eye on the water, it will get nasty as the grease comes off, just don't let it get coolrer then say a nice bath water. Once at that temp remove the fleece, you can hold it over the sink, let it drain, squeeze lightly to get out excess water, then refill the container and repeat this process till the waters staying pretty clear, smell the fleece and see if thats a smell you can live with, touch the fleece if it feels tacky at all keep washing, if not then you're finished washing. Then fil a container with some nice bath water, dunk the fleece again and leave, it can go cold this time if you like. This just rinses the soap reside off.

Then lay it out to dry. Once dry you can use 2 wire dog brushes to card with, hand carders, spin it from the locks meaning just take a bit of that washed fleece and spin not much drafting necessary depending on the breed.

Its a fun way to start though, once clean you can dye bits of wool in different colors and just blend together by hand picking colors off different wads of wool and see how that spins up etc

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