I knew Merino was hard to get grease free, but I bought some anyway………..
I had the chance to get some really nice white Merino raw fleece. Not super fine, but fine none the less. I have always wanted to try preparing my own Merino for spinning. I am not too fond of the commercial stuff. Boy did I ever get a workout with this Merino.
I tried my normal method that works cleaning fleece – not so with this Merino. I tried hotter water, different cleansers and I never could get the fleece grease free, until a few days ago.
A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to read and review a book coming out in august by Beth Smith called “The Spinner’s Book of Fleece”. Well low and behold on the Merino pages , there was a lesson on cleaning Merino and boy I jumped right on it.
I will have you to know that I am now the proud owner of clean and grease free Merino! And all you need is a bar of laundry soap (real Soap) and some warm water – yes that is right, I said warm water, I did not use scalding hot water. Here is how I did it:
I used one bar of Zote Laundry Soap and some warm water in a bowl. Zote comes in Pink or white. I have both, but used the white bar in the pictures below. I got a 14 ounce bar at Walmart for 97 cents – yes, less than one dollar. I am sure the price varies depending on where you live, but the price should be close to what I paid.
I have already washed enough locks to card a batt to spin, so for these pictures instead of washing individual locks, I tried washing a handful of locks at one time.. here are the locks I washed:
This is about 5 nice size locks. One of them is pretty grungy as you can see.
Here I wet them in the bowl of rinse water before cleaning them.
Here are the locks on the bar of soap. I hold one end of the locks, and use y fingers to vigorously rub the locks into the bar of soap. After that end is good and sudsy, I flip it over and scrub the other end of the locks.
Notice I used the words vigorously and scrub. I know what you are thinking – she will have a felted mess. I promise you, if you get it nice and sudsy – it does not felt. I spent maybe a minute scrubbing these vigorously.
This is the soapy locks before rinsing. I rinsed them in my little bowl of water. I actually gently moved them back and forth in the water only a few times to remove the soap, then put them in a towel and removed the excess moisture and
placed then on my drying rack. Oh, before I forget, there is one more nice surprise with this way of cleaning merino – it dries much, much faster than any other way I have washed fleece.
It has been about 2 hours since I washed these and they are brushed and ready to card with my other batches I have washed.
And here is a pile of fluffy merino in the back of the picture. In the foreground are more clean locks waiting to be brushed.