i use suffolk, merino, angora from rabbits, and hampshire. they all spin
beautifully. you use them for different things. i use the hamp and suffolk
for socks, rugs, coats, and other sturdy things. the other two i use for
sweaters and softer luxury items.
i usually don't soak wool overnight.i wash it in an old fashioned double
tub w hot water first to reduce the lanolin and then with hot to rinse.
there are several good wool washing soaps out there.
remember this is HAIR- you can use shampoo and conditioner!
if you clean the fleece of debris before washing it greatly reduces the job.
we shear our own and usually dedebris before shearing. this reduces work
during carding.and lets u get to the fun of spinning sooner. i use the
leftover water on my compost pile. can't hurt it might help it.
i sometimes hang wool on the line to dry. or on bushes. or on screens.
depends on how much and how warm it is.
>From: beauhooligan <beauhooligan@...>
>Subject: Re: [SCA Newcomers] spinning/sheep
>Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2007 12:56:15 -0700
> I like working with Corriedale and Corriedale - Lancaster
>fleece. The wool is soft after washing, and has a good, long
>staple length, and takes dye well. I have spun most of the
>more popular varieties, but simply will not pay the prices
>asked for fleece from long haired sheep (Angora etc.).
> I used a 30 gallon plastic trash can from Home Depot as my
>basis. I bought a standard sink drain and used a hole say to
>cut the proper size hole in the bottom of the can. I used a
>galvanized reducer to neck the flow down to one inch, then a
>90 degree angle to run the flow to the side, then a valve
>that turned the one inch to a hose bib so that I can use a
>garden hose to drain it into the gutter (water, shampoo, and
>the yuch from the fleece are acceptable for gutter). With
>the hardware sticking out of the bottom of the can, I built
>a 2"x4" frame that would hold the can up off the ground, and
>used pipe strap to hold the drain and valve in place. The
>can lid is nice, as it is a good idea, as with very dirty
>fleece soaking it overnight can work wonders. A simple and
>cheap solution. Just don't use hot water or over agitate the
>wool, as it will cause the wool to matte, making it pretty
>worthless. After spinning and weaving one can was the final
>product in hot water (again by hand) to make the wool matte,
>producing a more waterproof and warmer garment. I don't wash
>any of my handwoven garments in a washing machine. I hand
>wash them in the tub with Woolite, or shampoo, and hang to
>dry. The garment will not shrink or be worn out by
> I hope this helps.
> Adios Amiga,
> Bill H.
>Natasha Laity Snyder wrote:
> > As a future sheep farmer, (this summer!!), what fleeces do you prefer
> > for hand spinning? I am buying Icelandics, but that could change -
> > or be expanded - as time moves on. I'd also be VERY interested in
> > your homemade wool washing vat - can you tell me a bit more detail?
> > Tangwystel vyrgh Gwethenek
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