Monday, May 26, 2008

Washing Wool

I wanted to process the fleece myself from my ewe's clip. Not the first clip from them, but the first now that they are mine. I washed up one fleece in small batches and the other two I kept the locks aligned and wrapped in cheesecloth and then placed that into some plastic containers. This is great for dunking up and down in the wash and rinse water so no need to touch the fiber. Keeps the locks neat in a row or rows depending on which container I use. Some are large enough to hold two rows, but only one can fit in the sink at a time. I placed the locks into the cheesecloth lined container and then folded over the four sides of the cloth. Fill the sink with very hot water and put in enough dish washing soap to make the water slick. You do not want suds. I used Ultra Dawn. Let the wool soak for at least 20 minutes and then lift out the container and fill the sink with water the same temp as you just let out. I add a *glug* of vinegar to the first rinse. Put the container back into the sink and after a minute or two dunk it up and down gently. It may take one or two more rinses to get the soap out and the water clear. Then I take the whole thing outside and place the locks on a cheesecloth lined wire shelf that is set up on saw horses in the patio. Cover the locks with another piece of cheesecloth to prevent the birds from flying off with the wool and let dry.

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