Raw Wool posted by Mary Bowen on April 10, 2020
Over the years I have received several different types of wool to mix with my Angora wool. I have always had to clean the raw wool. I have tried several different ways and this method seems to work the best. I do not recommend putting the raw wool in the dryer after a very disappointing outcome.
Remove the belly wool and any undesirable parts from the fleece. This process is called "skirting" the wool.
Fill the tub with as hot as your hands can handle water. Loosely put the fleece in the tub and swish around until it is all saturated. The water should get very brown and dirty. Don't worry about the grain and grass particles right now, it will come out in a later step. Drain the tub and re-rinse as many times until the water is cleaner looking.
Fill the tub with hot water again and add a scoop of laundry detergent. Swish the fleece around and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain the tub and rinse and drain the fleece by hand fulls.
To wring out the raw wool, use a salad spinner to get the last bit of water out of the fleece.
Scatter the raw wool across a dry towel and leave for a few hours to dry. If you want to hurry the process, you can shut the wool in a small room with a heater. You should change the towels frequently so the raw wool is not sitting on a wet towel.
Using your hands, pull apart, or fluff up, the dry clumps of wool. This process should release all the particles of grain and dry grass that was stuck to the wet hair. This is called "picking" the wool. It is now ready to card and make into a roving or, sent to the mill without any extra cleaning fees!
Pat yourself on the back for cleaning a fleece of raw wool. Now it’s time to make something out of it!
Mary Bowen is a founding member of industriousfamily.com. Not only is she our resident artist but she is also a choir director, GAPS dessert guru, Angora lover, and director at Industrious Family Films. Always cheerful and optimistic, Mary loves sharing her gifts with others. She has walked the Chartes pilgrimages twice and hopes to go as often as is realistic. Her first movie, Outlaws of Ravenhurst premiered in 2018.
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