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.


Fleeced in wash bags and all set out to work
First batch of wool. Much of that is dirt and lanolin that is being removed
The temperature of my wash water. I was around 150 – really too hot.
Those are sweater racks that can be used to set the bags of wool on and let them drain off. DO NO WRING OUT THE WOOL! That is a guaranteed way to felt it!
Clean on the left and dirty on the right.
I wasn’t sure how many gallons my tubs were holding and I decided my fleece probably din’t get enough detergent. I did a second wash. You can still see how dirty the far tub is. Tub in the foreground is getting really dirty!
Running out of bags. I just set this on the grass and let it drain.
This is a Nina Spin Dryer . Great for getting out the excess water without felting!
I actually took the washed fleece before the rinse and spun it. This is the dirty water.
This is all my rinse water
All finished with the spin dryer
Set on the porch to dry. It didn’t take too long since the spin dryer removes the majority of the water. I did need more space to lay out the fleece.



I took a video of the Nina Spin Dryer to show how it works.  It was extremely helpful in this process.