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Although a fleece can be spun ‘in the grease’, many times it is desirable to wash or scour it before handspinning.
- Remove vegetable matter, clumps of dirt, or other soiled fibre from the fleece.
- Fill a large tub or wash basin with hot water.
- Add a mild soap to the hot water, such as dishwashing liquid or liquid detergent (no bleach).
- Place the fleece in the hot water.
- Allow the fleece to soak for several hours, or overnight.
- The lanolins and oils will soak out into the water.
- Drain the water and remove the fleece from the wash tub.
- Refill the tub with cool water and place the fleece back in to rinse.
- If the fleece is especially dirty, the above steps may need to be repeated.
- Spin the fleece dry to remove excess water, by using the Spin cycle of your washing machine.
- Lay the washed fleece on a flat surface or drying rack to dry.
- Caution: On Step 10 above – Turn off the water to your washing machine, so that the fleece is not sprayed during the Spin cycle.
- Do not agitate the fleece while it is soaking, or you may get felt.
- If you are going to dye fleece, it must be clean prior to dyeing. Otherwise, you will be dyeing the lanolin and oils and not the fibre.
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