Monday, March 05, 2012

Spinning Stash

Spinners brag about how big their fiber stash is.  Sometimes, they will even say that their fiber stash is so big that they have raw fleece that has been in their stash for months without being washed.

That is proof that they have not bothered to learn the basics of their craft.  It does not matter how they talk and brag, if a spinner stores dirty fleece for more than a couple of weeks, they do not know their craft.

If you are going to store wool for more than a couple of weeks, it should be clean.  Do not buy fleece that has sat dirty. Fleece that has soap or scouring compound residues on it is dirty.  Soap or what ever must be rinsed out of the fleece. Once the fiber is clean, it is easy to store for years. Yes, it will settle and pack and may need to be re-carded or re-combed, but it will keep well.

Wool that is being combed, carded or spun should be oiled (actually a gell of oil and soap).

After being combed, carded, or spun, the fiber prep should be scoured before extended storage

Good professional spinning practice for a thousand years has been to work with clean fleece.  Spinning in the grease does not produce as consistent or as good a yarn as can be spun from clean fiber.


Pica said...

Since I wash all my fleece in my fermented suint vat, and since it's a not particularly large one, I do it in chunks when we've had rain. I don't have much unwashed fleece left but I sure hope we get a lot more rain before May. If not I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do it with tapwater. I hate doing that because ours is so hard. (Also scarce.)

Aaron said...

I suggested to Robin that they set up a "Wash it Yourself" fleece washing area. You know, solar heated and recycled water. Fifty-five gallon drums with racks in them for fermented suint, and etc.

Washing fleece is so much easier when you have the right equipment.

It is not a big deal with Jacob, but this year I need some big greasy fleece. The kind that felts when one looks at it. I am not sure how I am going to wash it.