Washing Some Wool

This weekend I decided to wash some of the masses of raw wool I have. This is a small piece from one of my sheep she is a mixed breed meat sheep. Here it is before washing.

Raw wool

I put it a large tub with hot water and dish soap.

wool soaking

wool soaking, close

Here is the water after the first soak. The problem with a dark fleece is you can never see how dirty it really is. Here is the water after the first wash.

dirty water

I washed it 3 more times  then gave it a rinse. The water was still to dirty and I washed again. So I had to wash it 5 times.  Then I rinsed it twice, the first rinse had some vinegar in the water.

washed wool

Here it is all dry. I don’t know if I will card it or use chunks of it to make something primitive looking.

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12 Responses to Washing Some Wool

  1. Karen says:

    Ann i’ve had fleece that i’ve had to wash 1/2 doz times to, not pretty but when its clean its gorgeous. Maybe card some and use some raw, there looks like there’s a nice mix of colors in that pile 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    Ooh lovely! I am reallly enjoying working with raw fleece and locks at the moment – a nice change from carded wool or tops!

  3. Lyn says:

    Oooh – it looks lovely. Have fun with it!

    I’ve seen photos of raw fleece made into rugs and bags (purses) and they look so interesting and pretty.

  4. zedster66 says:

    It looks gorgeous 🙂
    I’d save the best looking locks then card what’s left.
    I don’t think I could afford the water bill to wash fleece!

  5. koffipot says:

    Some interesting shades there. I have a very dark Herdwick and I’m thinking of trying a rug ‘in the grease’. It’s a new venture for me, so we’ll see how it goes.

  6. ruthlane says:

    Lots of work and water later… I love the colors in the fleece. A wonderful wooly rug sounds perfect!

  7. shepherdessann says:

    Thanks everyone. it is very shiney now its clean. It is a lot of water to wash. Fortunately I have my own well. my hot water is preheated from my wood boiler so it doesn’t take so much oil to heat it the rest of the way. I like working with clean wool in the grease. it is expensive to do. I plan to coat a couple of the sheep this year. A friend has volunteered to help. we have to find the right fabric to make coats. It needs to breath but keep them dry. i think they use canvas to make coats.

  8. ruthlane says:

    Do show us some photos of the sheep in their coats once you get them done 🙂

  9. shepherdessann says:

    will do.

  10. Nikki Perry says:

    Hi! I have 2 ryeland x Shetland fleeces I need to wash, been looking for inspiration and came across this blog! am wondering what the vinegar does in the rinse and what type of vinegar would be best please? Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information! Nikki x

    • We are happy to help and glad you like our blog. You can use just regular household vinegar. You are retuning the PH to the right side. Wool likes acid and not alkaline, most soap is alkaline.

  11. Thank you so much! I was told vinegar in the rinse water when finishing wet felted pieces was a good idea but i didnt know why, thank you so much for telling me, makes sense now. The next sunny day i get i will tackle my fleeces! So excited! Nikki xxx

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