Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fleece Washing Experiment

Here is a Debouillet fleece I just received.  It is a very nice white fleece with locks as long as 4+ inches. 
 I decided to preserve the lock structure by using a tulle squares and a washing bag.  I pulled locks from the fleece the width of my finger and placed them on some tulle the width of my bag. All of the tips and butts were placed in the same direction.  I made about 3 packets of these locks.

 This process took some time but it was worth it because the locks structure was so great.  I used some boiling water and my hot tap water to get it to 135 degrees F.  It was perfect for using some Power Scour soap I was looking to try.  I ended up folding the wash bag over a third.  I left this for about 20 minutes.  The water cooled to about 120 degrees.  I then did a second wash with about half the amount of soap I used the first time.  The water by the end of the second wash was less dirty than the first.   I then did two rinses of the same temp water and each was left for 15 minutes.  The end of the second rinse was really clear.

The tips didn't come as clean as I would have liked but really that will come out with flicking the ends or just snipping them off.  It took about an hour and 15 minutes to do the wash process.  I did  use my washing machine to spin the water out after the last rinse.  That helped alot with the drying process.  The locks dried over night.  Below is a picture of the storage bag that I store all of my fiber. It has breathable sides and can fit quite a lot.  I decided to be really scientific and weigh by fiber before washing and after.  Before weighed 5.8 oz  the after was 2.9 oz.  So I lost 50% weight of dirt and lanolin.  That is acceptable as the Debouillet fleece is expected to have 50% loss.    This was a fun experiment and I will do this again.  It helps to appease the nerd in me.
 So that was my evening of getting my fiber fix satisfied and still waiting for Spring to arrive here in the northern plains. 

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