We use a suint method to remove most of the lanolin. This method saves water.
Each sheep is carefully shorn by our regular local shearer. The sheep is with his/her flock and only separated for the time of shearing. At the same time we inspect and trim hooves.
Keeping out of the rain before shearing 2012
The fleece is then carded into batts, which will form the doona 'fill'. Depending on doona weight and size this may require up to 30 such batts.
The fleece is then dried outside
The fleece will then be rinsed several times
Then we wash the fleece in batches using an eco detergent and rainwater.
The fleece is then rolled and each fleece stored and labelled with the sheep's name, date and fleece type.
Each fleece is then 'skirted' on a skirting table with as much debris removed as possible
Homemade No-Rinse Wool Wash (DIY Eucalan). methylated spirits lux pure soap flakes or grated laundry soap eucalyptus oil Mix all ingredients and store in a wide necked jar. Use 2 tablespoons per wash. Mix with hot water and then add to warm wash.
The Fermented Suint Method (FSM) of cleaning wool is shown here. This is my second batch in the barrel. It's a Border Lieceister fleece.
The Fermented Suint Method chatting
fermented suint method for washing greasy fleeces - left is conventional washing, right is fermented.
Jacob fleece going into suint bath in hoop house
Ask The Bellwether: Slow Wool (similar to fermented suint fleece cleaning, but less smelly)
Ultimate selection of spinning books and magazines for serious fiber artists interested in making yarns and learning how to spin.
How to Groom a Sheep thumbnail
Half-Shorn Sheep, by photographer Cary Wolinsky, explains the difficulty in capturing this image, to illustrate a National Geographic story on wool.
How to Use Viking Wool Combs from the Woolery -- I love my Valkyrie combs.