Our last Guild meeting was all about scouring fleeces, presented by Cydne Pidgeon.
Tip #1: If you’re going to be scouring a whole fleece, place the fleece in a grocery basket that fits inside a large rectangular storage tub. You can fill your storage tub with hot soapy water and then lower the fleece in the basket. This way the fleece is always supported, even when lifting it back out to drain. You can have a second storage tub with hot rinse water at the ready. As a bonus, you can use your storage tubs for actually storing things when not in use.
Tip #2: Don’t rinse it yet! Spin all that hot soapy water out before you rinse it. Cydne was doing this demonstration outdoors, and she had one of these devices:
This is an electric spinner. The advantage over your top load washer’s spin cycle is that it can go up to 1800 rpm, so it can get all the water out very quickly. It also runs on 110V instead of household appliance 220V, so it’s easy to plug in outside with an extension cord. It has a drain spout on the bottom so you can catch the rinse water, which is advantageous if you have a septic system like I do, so you can divert that grey water out of the sewer and onto your flower beds instead. This nifty device can be purchased here.
Cydne passed around a lock of scoured, spun-out Rambouillet, and it was very clean and almost dry. Since all the soapy water has been removed, there’s only need for one rinse. She spun the fleece in the spinner again after the rinse water, and it was clean, unmatted in any way, and again, almost dry. Fabulous!
Tip#3: If you’re only scouring some locks inside a mesh bag in a smaller bucket, you can still spin between the wash and the rinse…just use a salad spinner. These are readily available at second hand stores, so you don’t have to share with your lettuces.
Tip #4: If you are scouring very fine fiber (like angora), mesh lingerie bags are usually not small enough mesh to keep the fiber in. Bridal veil material is very fine mesh, and you can easily sew up your own bag with a zipper on top.
It’s hot outside. Those fleeces will be cleaned and dried in no time.