Washing some Fleece

Washing some Fleece

While looking for something else I found some unknown dirty wool. There was lots of nice curls so that’s probably why I kept them. There wasn’t a whole fleece but just a piece of one, enough to fit in a dish washing bowl. Here it is sitting on top of the water before I pushed it under. There is some dish soap in the water.


Here  it is soaking. This is a pretty clean piece of fleece the water isn’t very dirty.

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Here it is drying, and after it is dry, it is much lighter gray.


The are lots of small bits in the individual locks  so I tried just combing the ends and rewetting them to bring it back together.

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Unfortunately it did not word as well as I hoped. They are better and perhaps if I used them on some felt or off the edge of some felt they may come back together by the end of the felting.


Have you had any success in getting locks back together?



16 thoughts on “Washing some Fleece

  1. I don’t have any great suggestions on how to fix them…but I do think they are quite lovely as is. Do you think that they would just blend into a wet felted piece?

  2. I am having that problem with wool that a friend sent me, looks like it came right off the sheep, lol.
    I am making a sheep, so using it and will see how it turns out. Someone just told me to wind the fleece around a skewer, wet, then let it dry and it will curl back up.


    1. Right off the sheep is usually smelly and greasy with lanolin. The lanolin also hangs onto the dirt. Have you washed it? I think the skewer trick would work with the long wools like wendslydale or teeswater. These are more wiggly then curly. I will try some though to see what happens.

  3. Your locks look similar to the mystery locks I recently dyed and posted about on the March Daily Dose in Forum. I also wondered about the “fuzzy” ends and whether they would re-curl after wetting, dyeing and rinsing. They did not. And then I got to wondering about some of those long gorgeous long wool locks I have seen elsewhere.

    After looking through various shops on Etsy, I noted locks that look like yours and mine being sold as “NOT prime locks.” Given that the locks are not “prime,” I was thinking of just snipping off the curly ends and using those, saving the fluffy parts for needle-felting. Does that make sense?

    1. Never be afraid of the scissors. So many think you should never cut wool but if it suits the purpose I say go for it. I have a friend that cuts the faded tender tips off locks when she is getting a fleece ready for spinning. Her spinning is great .

  4. I think you should just try felting them into an edge, even if it is just a small sample. Most locks that I have had that looked like that still looked pretty curly and “lock like” when I finished the felting process. I love the colors!

    1. I think I probably will Ruth. When they were wet they looked fine so if I lock them into the felting they won’t be able to fluff out again.

  5. Beautiful locks Ann. I don’t have much experience with locks so I’m anxious to hear what you learn when you use them. Good luck!

  6. I agree with Ruth, I often give the cut ends of my locks a little comb to fluff them out to help them felt in. They mostly don’t look that bad at all. Try a few, if you’re worried they’ll mat, slick them with a bit of lanolin hand cream 🙂 Even if you combed them and used them as surface interest they should retain their curliness.

    1. I think they will work ok. when they are wet they come back together so I think they should keep their shape in surface design. If I want them to stick off the edges the fluffy part will make it easier.

  7. I don’t any have any useful advise for this, Ann, but I can say the first thing that came to mind was, “this would look really good as hair on a doll’s head!” 🙂

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