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Wool Cleaning Day

Bishop Taft gave me some Rambouillet wool from two of his 1,700+ sheep a month ago. This has been airing in the garage, and I walk past it every day at least three times.

This was the day!

I’ve looked at lots of UTube and Pinterest sites. I have a front loading washing machine, so I can’t follow instructions for the top loading machines, which would be working better in this instance.

Wool is very different from alpaca fleece. Rambouillet has extra bounce and retains it’s shape more than Alpaca. Although alpaca has no lanolin or greasy anything whatsoever, all sheep wool is loaded with lanolin, and it’s definitely present when you handle the wool. (Sidenote: Because of our altitude and dry climate in Wayne County, sheep have less lanolin in their wool.)

Both wool and fiber have lots of VM (not BM, VM). VM is vegetable matter. Lots and lots and lots need to be ‘skirted’ in both instances. During washing, you must be willing to be gentle so as to not felt or ruin your wool or fleece. Both felt easily, whether you are trying to felt it or not. Today I’m not trying to felt anything on purpose.

I’ve washed the wool through four wash and rinse cycles in my sink. I’m not tumble drying it on “air only” in my washing machine. Not loose in there, but in a cotton bag.

It’s still drying by the fireplace on a make-shift fleece dryer. The fire is going and I rotate the drying wool. Tonight, while we watch a show, I’ll “pick” it so tomorrow I can card it