Wool fleece is a synthetic fabric that is woven with very fine fibers and then brushed into that iconic soft, fuzzy cloth. It has been dubbed one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and is now used in countless winter clothing items.
Fleece is made from a combination of polyester and acrylic, which gives it a very soft feel, is warm, and breathable. It can also be dyed many different colors so it is an inexpensive alternative to natural fabrics like wool.
It is also very durable and holds up well under heavy wear. It can be washed and dried very easily so it can be re-used over and over again.
There are a few things you need to know about wool before spinning it.
The first thing is that it takes longer to process and manufacture than cotton, so the production cost is higher. It also requires more work from the sheep.
Raw wool has oils and waxes that can react with the surrounding environment, causing it to break down. Bacteria can grow on the surface of raw fleeces, too.
Some raw fleeces are so greasy that they can ruin tools used by spinners. Grease can also bind to dust and dirt, making the weight of a raw fleece heavier than it really is.
Spinning greasy fleeces is not recommended for most spinners. They can be difficult to spin and can damage tools, so handspinners generally prefer clean wool.
There are some exceptions to this rule, especially when it comes to spinning fine wools naked, such as the landrace breeds Shetland and Navajo-Churro.
If you’re spinning a greasy fleece, be sure to use a mild detergent. A harsher detergent can agitate the grease and cause the wool to felt.
To wash a greasy fleece, put it in a tub or washer filled with water that is not as hot as the water in the first step of washing (the water should not be cold). This will keep the wool from felting and will also help to loosen the grease and get it down to the base of the fiber.
Then, use a mild detergent and add it to the water. Then, soak the wool in the soapy water for about 30 minutes or so.
You may have to do two washes with a greasy fleece, but the second wash will only require a little more soap.
A greasy fleece can also be pre-soaped in cold water, which will help to loosen the grease and dissolve some of it. This is especially important if you have red clay stains on your wool.
Once you’ve rinsed the wool you can then begin the spinning process. When spinning greasy fleece, be sure to use tools designed for processing the lubricants found in the wool.
If you’re a beginner, it can be helpful to find a spinner who works with greasy fleeces and ask them questions about the process. This way, you’ll be able to better understand the process and decide whether or not it is right for you.