Washing and Processing of Wool Fibers
Instructions for Washing Wool Fibers at Home
1. Remove and dispose of any fibers that are extremely soiled with manure or mud.
Pay particular attention to fiber that comes from the underbelly, anal/genital region and legs.
Wool that is dirty, but not matted may be washed and processed.
Remove any burrs, chaff or other organic debris.
Remove as much trash as possible.
The more time spent on these procedures the more valuable ($$$$) the end product will be!
2. Fill the washing machine with HOT water (top loaders only), or use a wash tub.
Add double the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for washing clothes.
Put 5-7.5 pounds of wool into the machine.
Gently push the wool down into the water, spreading it out evenly.
3. DO NOT allow the machine to go into agitate cycle!
Doing so will cause the fiber to turn to felt---LEAVE THE LID UP!
4. Allow the wool to soak for 10 minutes
Gently move the wool around from time to time.
Avoid vigorous motions, this will too cause felting.
5. You may use the spin cycle to remove the dirty water
Spinning will not cause felting, on agitating does.
6. Repeat steps 2-5.
7. Rinse the wool by repeating steps 2-5, without the laundry detergent.
8. Allow the wool to air dry.
Spread it out, while turning it occasionally to prevent mold.
Steps to Commercial Fiber Processing
the removal of all impurities from grease wool.
use water, detergent, and sometimes a mild alkali.
Wool containing excessive amounts of vegetable material is carbonized using an aqueous acid treatment followed by heating which converts the cellulose base defect into carbon.
Neutralization and re-scouring complete the process.
The amount of water held by the wool is reduce to below 15%.
Moisture in wool is removed by hot, dry air blown through the wool prior to being exhausted from the dryer.
Number of cylinders and rollers of equal width but variable in diameter and covered with short wires.
Carding disentangles and separates scoured wool fibers.
5. Gilling (pin-drafting, drawing, blending)
A blending and drawing operation that is applied to card sliver before combing.
The contact with pins and rollers opens and straightens the wool fibers.
6. Rectilinear Combing
Removing vegetable matter and short, tangled fibers from wool.
Arranging fibers in parallel configuration, forming a continuous, twistless rope of combed sliver.
7. Top Finishing
Further blending fibers into a uniform weight and thickness per unit of length and winding into a ball known as top.
Fourteen to 18 combed slivers are combined and drafted in an autoleverller-controlled gill box.
8. Spinning, Roving, Winding, and Twisting
Final drawing to the desired yearn count or thickness.
Includes insertion of a predetermined amount and direction of twist.
Delivery of yarn to appropriate package.
Interlacing of two sets of yarn to form fabric.
A modern loom performs several sequential functions, such as required weaving type and color combinations.
Interlacing of yarn in a series of connected loops by needles to form a fabric.
*Hand knitting yarns have less strength than those from machine knitting.
Anything that happens to a wool fabric after leaving the loom until it is ready for the cutter.
Characterized as mechanical, aqueous, drying, and chemical.
Pictures taken from SID: Sheep Production Handbook