Friday, July 04, 2008

in which I am almost done washing fleece

The final bit of fleece is being washed right now. I have a great deal more respect for my foremothers who had to wash fleece without the benefit of running water in their houses. Ok, washing fleece isn't nearly as labor intensive as washing clothes by hand, but it still takes an awful lot of time. 

I changed my procedure slightly based on something else I've read. This time, I let the fleece presoak in a tub of room temperature water for an hour before actually starting to wash it. This gets off a great deal of dirt (but probably very little lanolin). The first batch of fleece that I presoaked seems to be much cleaner than the first batches I washed, but it also may be because I used a different cleanser. The first few batches were washed with "wool washes", stuff sold to wash wool. These are expensive. But then I read that you can use almost any sort of cleanser... including dish detergent and shampoo. (Clothes detergent was discouraged though, because of all the added brighteners, etc.) So for the second batch, I'm using Suave Shampoo at $1.99 a bottle (vs. Kookaburra wool wash at $10 a bottle.) 

It'll be several hours before this last bit of fleece is cleaned but I will be very glad once it's all done!

Now to finish staining my spinning wheel so that I can assemble the darn thing.  

1 comment:

katze said...

So I'm thinking about pioneers and fleece washing, and I'm remembering a passage in "Farmer Boy" where they discuss sheep shearing, and they took the sheep to a river, soaped them up, washed them off, then sheared them. Would that be sufficient to cover what you're doing in your bathtub? Or is there something extra that you have to do that wouldn't be accomplished if the sheep was washed well just prior to shearing? (What do I know about fleeces?)