Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fiber Prep Part 2

As promised, here is the rest of the prep of my first fleece.  I wasn't able to finish the fleece that same day so I soaked it in cool water overnight so the soap didn't dry in the fleece.  Then I rinsed and spun it out 4 times.  In the rinse stage I used hot water for two rinses and cold water for two more.  In the cold rinses I gave the fleece a shake periodically to make sure it all got rinsed.  And as I put the fleece in the water at the start of each rinse I pulled apart the clumps so it all rinsed evenly.

The fleece before the final rinse.

The fleece after the final spin.

Once the fleece was spun out for the last time I assembled my drying rack and put them in my shower stall.  I got the racks for $10 each at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  They were in the Beyond section of the store.

My drying racks, I got 2.

Drying rack in the shower, it doesn't quite fit but its good enough.

Then I spread my fleece on the racks.  I divided it in half and every 12ish hours I would fluff the fleece so it dried evenly.

Wet fleece on the rack.

Dry fleece.

Then I bagged the fleece up.  This bag is the same size as the bag the fleece came in but without all the lanolin the fleece is much fluffier so it fills the bag much fuller.

Finished and bagged Fleece.
I have one more fleece to prep and then I will work on carding the fleeces.  Before washing this fleece was 3 1/4 lbs.  Now it is about 2 1/4 lbs.  It lost almost a pound with the dirt and lanolin gone.

One important tip I learned from someone with more experience than I have at prepping fleeces.  It is very important you use a phosphate free, enzyme free detergent otherwise you can damage the fleece you are preparing.

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