Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Fleece  (Read 2055 times)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
« on: September 18, 2012, 11:14:30 am »
I have 6 castlemilk moorit fleece that I got from Doug (tizaala) and now need to know how to prepare them.
I want some of the fleece for spinning and some for felting and in both cases would like to dye them before I get to work. I have only recently started dyeing and that has been with yarn I have bought.
Do I wash first and then dye?
Do I wash and card and then dye the batts?
Do I just dye without washing first?
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

Mel Rice

  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Fleece
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 01:18:02 pm »
I pick over (mine are always full of hay/grass/allsorts) Then wash, and pick over again, then card and spin
I havnt tried dying yet but was planning to dye the spun stuff with maybe some elderberries.
watching the thread with interest.


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Fleece
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 02:22:34 pm »
A lady comes to my monthly Fibre group who is spinning mule fleece she got in 2001.  She had a lot, so to preserve it she 'stove-top rainbow-dyed' it - no prewashing, only skirting - and it's kept perfectly all these years.

She's going to do a workshop on 'stove-top rainbow-dyeing' at the group next month - using my fleece (I'm no fool!  ;) :D) so I can report back about it after that.

I know nothing about dyeing so other than that I can add nothing, I'm afraid.  So I am also watching this thread with interest!
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Spalding
    • Six Oaks
    • Facebook
Re: Fleece
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 02:35:25 pm »
Also watching with interest. Just washing a small part of my first fleece but think I may have semi felted in :-/, keen on dying but not taken the plunge yet. Good luck!

9 sheep, 24 chickens, 3 cats, a toddler and a baby on the way


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Fleece
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2012, 02:51:53 pm »
Not done any dying with the intent of colourfastness (just natural dying in the woods with children)... but here is the advice for that from my Jenny Dean Book (Colours from Nature a dyers handbook)....

in a nutshell materails need to be clean, free from dirt and grease/natural oils ie scoured to allow the mordant (the stuff that heps the dye stay colourfast) to do it's job.

She recommends soaking 6-12 hours in a warm cleansing solution (1 tsp dishwashing detergent/half tsp scouring agent per 7 litres).  If materials very greasy/dirty, change water and add more cleanser after 3-4 hours.  Then remove and rinse.  Then wash again and rinse thoroughly several times.

Faff.   That'll be why Ive never done it properly then!!!!  Be interested in the stove top dying - the idea of doing it all at once ;D


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