Dirty Fleece to Yarn

I usually buy coated/semicoated fleece, noice, soft  and clean, the fleece featured here I grabbed after it came off  demo sheep at the show. It is [I am pretty sure it’s]  mostly  corriedale – it is chalky to feel, but quite soft,the staple is pretty short about 6-8cms]

I think it was probably destined for the rubbish bin, and my partner would have preferred that. He was horrified, said it was filthy that i should leave it, but later  impressed as I showed him how nice it came up with a bit of work, so I thought I would share what I did. There are plenty of pages with how to wash fleece, these worked for me, for this fleece.

Washing is a little different each time and for each fleece. this fleece was dirty more than dusty, had matted weathered ends, short staple and veg matter – not attractive qualities!

If you have a nicer, cleaner fleece all these steps are much easier – I enjoyed it though, I like a fleecey challenge. And you know waste not, want not!!!

i still have about 400gms to go!

image002Fleece straight off the uncoated animals back, from which I went in two directions

1st Cold Soak Method image004

Cold Soak – 20minutes in plain water, drain off water, repeat until water becomes clean-ish

I went through about 3 repeats, and then the last soak was in warm water with a small amount of detergent to [this fleece is not greasy  at all, if you have a greasy fleece, you may want to consider a bit more detergent.

2nd Warm/ Hot Soak method. image006

Hot Soak with detergent. The raw fleece is placed in small amounts inside fruit bags and soaked until the water temp drops [about 20mins]

Rinsed in clean warm water bucket same temp as the fleece

My mess drying




I used a flick carder and a dog brush like hand carders – probably not technically the correct way but it opened up the mess for drum carding.

Clean and Creamyimage016

Off the drum carder


Spun into yarn – the coloured flecks are from leftovers on the drum carder that I didn’t clean before use.

I like them.



~ by fauve on May 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Dirty Fleece to Yarn”

  1. Wow, that did come up well. How do you get the time with 4 kids?

  2. It did, i was stoked to see the dirt removed and found it pretty soft also.
    re: the time – they help sometimes, sometimes they just watch [esp if i am cleaning fleece], they tend to freerange also!!

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