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ecomumof4

washing fleece

I have just washed fleece for the first time ever!!! And I'm so pleased it's washed and dried ( in front of the fire) beautifully.
I bit the bullet and bought some raw Bluefaced Leicester fleece and ive just been given bags of alpaca and Jacob fleeces this morning,
I've avoided it for so long thinking it was a difficult process that involved elbow deep grease, poop and some witchery.

I can't wait to get felting now

Does anybody else here wash fleece and use it?
Toddy

I do
I do a lot of natural dyeing, and I'm a fussy bitch about mordants and poisoning watercourses, so washing fleece myself was just another step in doing the job properly.

That said, the lady who taught me to weave told the tale of having to have the plumber out after she washed three fleeces. "Oh Missus 'attersley", he said, "Oi dunt know what this is!!!", as he pulled his arm out of the blocked drain complete with handfuls of yellowy oily white lanolin  

It's good stuff is lanolin, just not in drains.

Doesn't the fleece feel wonderful when you wash it yourself though ? and it smells fresh too.

I strip off the worst of the daggy bits and soak them in a big bin of water. It makes brilliant fertiliser, and when it's empty the wool's clean enough to be washed and used too.

I was on a felt boot making course a couple of months ago….I seem to have a lot of rather clog like thick wool footwear now  Very warm and comfortable though.

What are you going to make with your fleece ?

M
ecomumof4

Toddy wrote:
I do
I do a lot of natural dyeing, and I'm a fussy bitch about mordants and poisoning watercourses, so washing fleece myself was just another step in doing the job properly.

That said, the lady who taught me to weave told the tale of having to have the plumber out after she washed three fleeces. "Oh Missus 'attersley", he said, "Oi dunt know what this is!!!", as he pulled his arm out of the blocked drain complete with handfuls of yellowy oily white lanolin  

It's good stuff is lanolin, just not in drains.

Doesn't the fleece feel wonderful when you wash it yourself though ? and it smells fresh too.

I strip off the worst of the daggy bits and soak them in a big bin of water. It makes brilliant fertiliser, and when it's empty the wool's clean enough to be washed and used too.

I was on a felt boot making course a couple of months ago….I seem to have a lot of rather clog like thick wool footwear now  Very warm and comfortable though.

What are you going to make with your fleece ?

M


Hi Toddy.

I'm a needlefelter
And I've been buying most of my wool from larger wool companies, I'm always running out of core wool, having to pay a fortune in postage and wait ages for it too, and then there are the dyes,,,,,, so the only way to go for me is local and as natural as possible.
I've just met a wonderful local smallholder that should be able to keep me in quita a bit of fleece in exchange for the odd felted piece and some swapping of fowl,
I'm so pleased I can add a bit of provenance to my work with it.
My next step shall also be looking at natural dyes and mordants,,another thing I have been avoiding for ages as it seems terribly confusing

I'd love to see your slippers, I wanted to have an experiment with slippers for a while, but I'm a serial self doubter,,,can you tel  
Seabird

I'm intrigued Toddy. So how DO you get rid of the lanolin to avoid plumbing catastrophes?
I recall, when studying history, that urine and fullers' earth came into the process somewhere, though I can't imagine you going round the neighbours collecting full chamber pots !!
Toddy

Well it's a very useful by product so don't waste it was the ethos of the day.
If you soak wool in slightly warm water, the lanolin does come off and rise, eventually, and stinking of sheep sharn.

Howecer, fleece contains stuff called suint. It's like flakey salt (potassium, iirc) dried sweaty dandruff that acts like natural cleansing for the sheep when it gets wet. We just make use of that and use it to clean the fleece for spinning.

I don't know this lady, but her blog is very good on this topic…

http://wooltribulations.blogspot....aw-fleece-in-fermented-suint.html

M
Seabird

Thank you  

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