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Author Topic: Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing  (Read 4217 times)

Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing
« on: September 05, 2019, 07:32:50 pm »
We have 3 ryeland fleeces from our ewes this year and unless someone wants them, I/we were thinking of trying out some wool based crafts over the winter.

The big question is can anyone recommend any books/websites or indeed local courses etc which helps show the process of cleaning a fleece (post shearing), processing, how to felt, spin etc etc.

As an experiment, I did stick a handful of wool into a laundry net bag and stuck it in the washing machine. It came out cleaner but also 'felted' in to balls  ;D but I reckon it would still be useable.

Thanks in advance.


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2019, 12:03:45 am »
Ooh never wash fleece in the washing machine.  Having to rip the fibres apart again after they have inevitably felted damages them.  Wash small amounts very carefully by hand in wool wash or ecover washing up liquid or similar.
There are lots of youtube bits on spinning - 'how to' prep fibre, how to spin it and how to knit/crochet/felt it.  I like these clips as you can see what is actually done, rather than trying to figure it out from a book.  Most of them are from America, where there seems to be a bigger fibre arts and crafts movement than UK. (handy hint: if you put 'spinning' in your search box, most of what you get will be about a strange pastime where people pedal static bicycles in a gym  ??? , or something to do with car wheels, equally obscure)

Someone, probably @SallyintNorth, will come along with the proper links, or you can just search around on youtube and google.

As a first hint, have an explore of wool and its qualities before you look at the 'how to' stuff.  Take a handful of fleece, just as it comes.  Feel how soft it is, find a small bundle where all the long fibres are aligned together.  Pull the ends gently apart and see how it stretches out then re-crinkles when you let go.  See of you can let the fibres slide over each other when you pull two random pinched bits apart, letting a few fibres at a time go free, making a long piece, then twist the fibres.  Twisting adds strength, so suddenly you can't break your fibres apart.  Just play around and explore what wool is.  By doing this and finding your own answers, before you read the official version, it will stick in your head better.  It also means that you can work out what you are doing when you spin or felt the fibres.  It's a great way to spend an hour during a boring TV programme!  :spin:
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 12:09:18 am by Fleecewife »
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  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 05:19:36 pm »
My method for ryeland:   Skirt the fleece (take off any dung mud). And worst of the hay/ straw. Give it a shake and place in large tub of cold water overnight.  A lot of surface dirt will come out in the cold water.  I take it out and put it ona slatted garden chair which allows a lot of the water to drain off then place in a tub of hot water  as hot as you can put your hand in, with a cap full,of detergent.  Leave for 20 to 40 minutes. Remove, put on chair to drain then in a tub of cold water to rinse. Dont agitate it at any time. 

After draining put in a large net laundry bag and spin dry at a low speed. Then spread out on a mesh table to dry.


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2019, 05:33:18 pm »

After draining put in a large net laundry bag and spin dry at a low speed. Then spread out on a mesh table to dry.
You are lucky if you have a spin speed control on your machine.... I thought that when we bought the same model of washing machine a few years back (the old one had lasted 15 years - Bosch Maxx, and you could change the spin speed right down - great for Shetland fleeces), it would have that again, but unfortunately it hasn't. So now it is pillow case hung up over the bath, and it takes a couple of days to stop dripping, then spread out over wire mesh to finish drying off...


  • Joined Nov 2011
Re: Book Recommendations - Wool/Wool based crafts/Wool Processing
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 06:28:23 am »
I have an old twin tub I use for fleeces. the washer without the paddle as a big boiler then spin out, no speed control and never had any problem with a fast spin with any fleeces including extremely fine bowmont and kid mohair.


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