I think I actually ‘started’ this back in February! I had two raw fleeces that I had purchased years ago (yes, that long!) and were still packed way. Since my brown mystery fleece was now completely finished, I needed to resupply my clean fiber ‘to-spin’ pile. Again, this is a mystery fleece. I had purchased it and knew the kind of sheep it came from when I bought it, but I neglected to write it down. Always keep records! I’m learning this the hard way.
The process of cleaning the fleece isn’t that hard really – kinda like doing laundry. I use lingerie/delicates clothes bags. I have some with more open holes and others that look like are made of window screen material. I suppose it’s just preference, both hold about the same about of fleece. I believe you probably should keep the fleece in the bags for the entire washing and rinsing process. I took mine out for the rinse because I didn’t have enough bags and needed to get the next group going. The free floating fleece in the rinse water, I think, was a mistake because my wool was ever so slightly felted. Still completely useable, but I noticed a bit of a difference. It was harder to gather up obviously, and agitation in hot water can cause felting. My water was also a little too hot, which is a contributing factor to felting. Best temperatures are 120 or below.
I used Unicorn Scour for this wash. It was the first time I had ever used this product and, yes it really does a great job! One of the nice perks is you don’t need to have very hot water at all for the detergent to work. I read that after I finished. Oops. Again, the wool is still completely useable, lesson learned. I will create a scouring fleece log, so the next time I do this, I can quickly refer to it and not make the same mistakes again.
The following will be a quick picture log of what I did.
I took a video of the Nina Spin Dryer to show how it works. It was extremely helpful in this process.