Washing a fleece

I have been given a Black Welsh Mountain Lamb fleece.  It was offered to me months ago and I’d got to the point where I thought it had been forgotten about, but it arrived on Friday, much to my delight.  I have attempted washing small bits of fleece before with no great success, whether this was due to my ineptitude or a free but not very nice fleece I don’t know!  This time round I had a new weapon, courtesy of www.handspinner.co.uk – Power Scour! 

The fleece was packed into a plastic feed bag – I was really surprised that it didn’t smell more strongly.  The last one I had in a plastic bag nearly knocked me out when I opened the bag!  Here’s the fleece straight out of the bag, and then rolled out flat:


I thought that once I’d rolled the fleece out I would be able to tell which was the head end and which was the tail.  I was still clueless.  I thought one end might be (erm, thinks of polite description…) ‘messier’ than the other, surely that would give the game away?  Nope, it was equally revolting either end!    Using rubber gloves, I stripped away the manky bits and then trimmed it down so I was left with the nicest bit in the middle to deal with first:


I pulled off a section of the fleece and put it in a net laundry bag, then filled a bucket with very hot water and a squirt of Power Scour and left it for about 15 minutes.  Yum!

I drained this off, soaked it again in more Power Scour solution, then soaked it again in just water, then one more time in a Fibre Rinse solution.  It has dried and hasn’t turned itself into a felted ball which is a good start, in fact it is still in the same piece as when I started.  I’ve carded one handful:


I’m not hugely experienced in using fleece, but it certainly was less tangly and smoother to deal with than my previous attempts.  There’s a lot of carding ahead of me, the drum carder fund has been started…


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