Washing & drying large amounts of wool

This weekend has been very busy. Saturday was a boys day … complete with changing trailer wheel bearings and rock fishing. Sunday was a domestic day … including washing, house cleaning and wool 🙂

This is what the end hallway of my house looks like.

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Bags and bags of unwashed alpaca and sheep fiber. Being the first sunny day in over a week, I figured some serious wool washing was in order.

My usual mode of operation for cleaning wool is to put chunks of fiber into ‘delicates’ bags, washing them in buckets then hanging on the line. My problem with this method is that it seems to take days to dry as the fiber isn’t spread out.

So, after reading a few things on the net I decided to try a new approach.

As follows chronicles my morning in pictures…

1. One large bucket of water.

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2. Add detergent, but don’t make bubbles.

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3. Submerge portions of the fleece in water. Wash twice and rinse once.

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4. Spread wool out over the drying rack.

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I tried covering the portable clothes rack with old fly-screen…but the holes were two small and the water didn’t drain properly. So I switched to using the delicates bags which have larger holes and pegging the bags to the frame.

By 5o’clock it was getting close to dry, but unfortunately it began to rain again. So now the laundry looks like this.

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The only variation that I would change next time is to put a piece of flyscreen in the bucket before submerging the fleece to help when getting the fleece out without burning your hands.

Overall, the wool was definitely drying faster this way, so I’ll be using this method again.

🙂