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Sticky, Stinky Wool

October 4, 2008

My mother went to a farm to buy some eggs, told the farmer that I was learning to spin, and was sent home with a GIGANTIC fleece, which is now out in the back garage at my parents home on Vancouver Island. When I visited, I peeked in on in fearfully… and brought a little tiny piece home in a ziplock to ponder.

It sat on the pile for a little while, and I regarded it with suspicion, but eventually it had to be dealt with!!

raw wool before washing

raw wool before washing

washing wool

washed and dried wool

So here are the photos in order, from dirty stinky, horrible mass of fur, to something that almost seems spinnable.

I just washed it in really hot water with dish soap, and I repeated it 3 times, and then rinsed a couple of times. Then I set it out to dry.

I’m certain this isn’t the nicest or gentlest way I could have processed this wool, but I’m no expert! And I had no idea how clean it would come, but it looks pretty good now. Some of the tips are a little stained, but not too bad.  And, most importantly, it doesn’t smell like poo anymore!!

My question now is, what is the cheapest most accessible set of tools I can use to card or comb this so it’s ready to spin?

I used some little plastic combs, which really didn’t work at all, and fluffed enough wool up to spin a tiny little test. It’s not terribly soft, but it’s easy to spin!

I want to try some more, but I need tools…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jillan permalink
    October 6, 2008 4:49 pm

    Hi there! Why don’t you check the pet section of your local supermarket for a doggie comb or brush. The dog combs have metal teeth and the brushes has tiny thin teeth like carders. Use the combs for combing or the brush for flicking ends. This gives you two very inexpensive tools, and two different types of prep.Both work very well. These are what I mainly use even though I have hand carders.

  2. October 6, 2008 9:21 am

    I started out with Dog brushes for flicking out wool against a piece of denim or leather on my leg. It was crude – but effective ;-)

    It looks like you did a decent job in cleaning the fleece though. That’s usually one of the hardest parts – making sure you don’t felt it before you’ve gotten to comb it out.

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