Textiles: Wool Preparation and Spinning

Last time I showed you different fibers and fiber preparations and a single spinning technique. Today we'll focus on wool from fleece off the sheep to finished yarn, and I'll show you a few techniques for spinning these preparations.  

Washing Your Fleece

  • Fill a tub with warm water and gentle soap (Soak, Eucalan, Woolite, Unicorn, Dawn dish detergent) 
  • Lay your locks in a garment bag
  • Gently and slowly submerge the bag
  • Let it soak (30 min or so)
  • Some wools you can gently, slowly swish. Some you can't. (Fine wools will felt if you look at them funny.)
  • Take your wool out of the tub
  • Dump the water
  • Put in warm clean rinse water (don't change the temperature to much from the wash water)
  • Repeat the submersion and soak
  • Drying your Fleece

  • Carefully lift your wool out of the water and remove it from the bag. 
  • Place it on a towel and press the water out, gently.
  • Let the wool dry on a raised clothes drying rack with mesh, or a baking rack - that you sacrifice for this purpose. 
  • Shy Red Fox has also washed her wool in her washing machine (fill the tub and soak the bag of wool).  Then she removed the wool, emptied the tub, and refilled it. Finally, she let the water spin out with the wool bag in there (if it's not fine wool).

    Types of Spinning Prep

  • Carding (hand cards, drum carders)
  • Combing (wool combs - SUPER SHARP!)
  • Flicking (some flickers look like cat brushes)
  • Picking (they can be a box style or a swinging arm - BE CAREFUL!)
  • Spinning Techniques

  • Short draw (you saw last time)
  • Spinning directly from the lock (of wool)
  • From the Fold (often folded over the index finger)
  • Long Draw (can do for speed and fun, or if using a walking wheel/great wheel)
  • What type you use depends on what you are spinning and how you want to spin it.     

    More info?

    I made a playlist so you can watch everything up close and rewind the videos if you need.   A picture of my friend Kelly's big e carding machine in action.  


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