What are all the steps involved in removal of wool, all the way to a finished usable yarn?
Shear the sheep. Sort the fleece into useable and non-useable bits (remove the dung locks and extremely filthy parts, discard the shorter staples and probably the leg and underbelly fleece as they are probably unuseable). Sort the useable bits into color groups and according to length.southerngurl said:What are all the steps involved in removal of wool, all the way to a finished usable yarn?
And the way it was done in medieval/renaissance eras was to take the skirted fleece out to a neighborhood stream, toss it in, and walk back & forth on it to get all the junk out of it. A lady in my neck of the woods did this on half of several fleeces and washed the other half in a modern style (soap & hot water) and then felted and spun and wove samples for a reenactment competition to show the difference - except for the excess lanolin, the stream-washed came out cleaner because it could be agitated a bit to get the junk out.Ross said:Tsk tsk step one use sharp shearing combs and cutters! Just kidding!! There are some cold water washes out there too. I would assume using a warm water over hot is intending to leave in some of the natural oils, instead of adding an artificial oil after carding. Kind of depends how much lanolin you'll tolerate on your carding cloth!
When I was starting out, I tried various things like Ivory soap flakes before settling on what seems to be popular with other spinners, Dawn dishwashing liquid (hey, it gets the grease out!). 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on how dirty the fleece is. I wash mine in a bathtub and let soak, sometimes over night if necessary. Or do a second wash. If the fleece is particularly greasy, I'll add 1/4 cup of soda ash -- it will take the grease out of merino in two washes.Ross said:What kind of soaps is everyone using to wash raw fleeces?
Good question. I've been toying with the idea of experimenting there. What do you all think of this thought? Go ahead and put the fleece in the hottest water you can stand (or hotter if you have a lifter or something). If others do it with no problems then maybe my sources are full of it? So if it's in the hot hot water, would the lanolin melt out of the fleece? Could you then retain the water and skim the lanolin off the top?mamalisa said:Ok, but:
How do you remove the grease so that you can use it? I don't want to wash it down the drain......