NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: first fleece  (Read 2324 times)

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
first fleece
« on: May 28, 2011, 01:32:09 pm »
Just had the Portlands sheared. Can I just check that this is how I should wash their fleeces
1) Spread the fleece out and remove any daggings (the bits of sheep muck). Then divide the fleece into 100g lots.
2) Fill a large plastic washing up bowl or box with warm water, add a little detergent then take some fleece and gently push it down in the water. Leave the fleece for 20 minutes to an hour. Do not agitate the fleece or it will felt!
3) Pour the water out of the bowl and refill with water of the same temperature to rinse the fleece. repeat at least 3 times until the water runs clear.
4) Gently squeeze as much water as you can out of the fleece and put it to dry. It will take a few days for the fleece to dry out.

Repeat steps 2-4 until the whole fleece is washed


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: first fleece
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 03:15:10 pm »
Sounds fine  :) except that I would use two bowls so you don't fill a bowl while there is fleece in it.  ie at 3) poor water out of bowl holding fleece back with your hand, transfer fleece to second bowl of water at the same temp.
If you tip the mucky water into a bucket and let it cool, you can use it as a liquid feed on your plants.  You should also be able to collect the lanolin but I don't know how.
www.scothebs.co.uk

'A lawsuit is a machine where you go in as a pig and come out as sausages'

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: first fleece
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 05:16:54 pm »
Thanks for the tip about the two bowls, and the reminder to keep the water FW. Well the shearer did a good job but the fleeces did not hold up well and when I tried to roll them up it was like grappling with a large spider web - or actually it reminds me of the thin membrane for making traditional fagots. I certainly cannot/do not need to skirt them with scissors, but the mucky bits are easy to just pull off - or rather they self-detatch  ;D ;D. FYI the length of the wool is about a hand thick, and is very fine and soft (that is those bits not caked in red mud :D. I have a few to do, is there a time limit between shearing and washing?

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: first fleece
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 05:36:47 pm »
Here he is working on them - you can hopefuly see what I mean about the fleece.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: first fleece
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2011, 05:44:32 pm »
Are these first shear fleeces?  They tend to hold together less well than from older sheep.
When you say a hand thick, do you mean across the palm so about 3-4"?  That will be perfect for spinning.
If you are really worried about your fleece felting you can wash it slightly differently but it takes ages.  Take a lock or two and hold it by each end (you will have to find the tips in your web then the butt end, rather than it being self-evident).  Pull it tightly between your two hands and waft it around in the water - it won't felt because you are not letting the fibres become mixed up.  Then waft it in the second bowl and that should be enough of a rinse.  Lay it flat to dry.  It's a bit tedious but it might be worth starting like that to see how you get on.
There's no time limit for washing although the sooner the better, but skirt/dag your fleeces before you put them away.  For rolling, lay the whole thing out on a large board - 8'x6' then rearrange it by pulling the edges in and making it take up less space - I'm not good at describing this ::)  It's a web because it's all stretched out sideways so for rolling you need it to be pretty much the same size and shape the sheep is.
However, being so easy to pull apart means you could probably spin it in the grease straight from the fleece, no washing or preparation at all.  When spun in the grease, you wash it afterwards as yarn, when it doesn't felt.
www.scothebs.co.uk

'A lawsuit is a machine where you go in as a pig and come out as sausages'

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

shearling

  • Joined Mar 2011
Re: first fleece
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2011, 06:11:03 pm »
FW no not first. The ewes are 6 and 10 years old. One is barren the others have only had one sheep in their lives. The ram (second shear) looked more whole when it came off but also did not hold up, as it were ::) If you know anyone who would like to have some to try with some I would happily send some. I cannot get to the Woolfest we do not have the same in the south - but am going to the Sherbourne show on Monday and there is a possibility that there will be spinners.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: first fleece
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 06:32:33 pm »
The pic hadn't come through when I sent the previous reply.  The fleece looks lovely and crimpy and apart from the yellow tips, really nice and white.  I'm sure you will be able to sell some - make sure it's nicely skirted and dagged with no veg matter, pack it in a nice clean polypropylene sack (not a polythene bag) and ask a good price for it.  The National Clip this year is worth twice what it was last year, so wool prices are rising  :) :) :)
www.scothebs.co.uk

'A lawsuit is a machine where you go in as a pig and come out as sausages'

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: first fleece
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2011, 12:51:59 am »
For another year there is Wonderwool Wales which is at Builth Wells - just across the bridge and up a bit from you, and I have heard that it's a great day out.
www.scothebs.co.uk

'A lawsuit is a machine where you go in as a pig and come out as sausages'

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

 

Fleece

Started by Bionic

Replies: 4
Views: 1113
Last post September 18, 2012, 02:51:53 pm
by FiB
fleece

Started by arumba

Replies: 33
Views: 7425
Last post November 10, 2012, 11:49:58 pm
by quiltycats
Fleece

Started by Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

Replies: 4
Views: 1075
Last post March 08, 2013, 07:49:58 pm
by Mad Goatwoman of Madeley
Orf from raw fleece?

Started by SallyintNorth

Replies: 0
Views: 662
Last post May 27, 2013, 08:46:41 pm
by SallyintNorth
Fleece processing

Started by xnbacon

Replies: 7
Views: 2874
Last post June 13, 2009, 07:44:41 pm
by Nik

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Assist Animal Care Services Thomson & Morgan G.J.W. Titmuss Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Cornwall Turkeys

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2017. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS