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Washing Wool by the Lock

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I did a little experiment this week. Normally for classes I wrap some of the Cormo or other fine wool in tulle and scour them all wrapped up so that the lock structure is preserved. But I have in the past, for a project or samples, just scoured the locks on a bar of Fels Naptha laundry detergent. It’s fast and pretty efficient. But I never actually compared the time it takes to scour lock by lock with the wrapping in tulle method.

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So, I weighted out a pound of Cormo fleece and got my buckets and my bar of detergent and got to work so I could time the whole procedure.

 

The results were that it took about 2.5 hours to scour a pound of Cormo.

I know that that is about and hour slower than wrapping and scouring a pound in my normal class preparation way.

But here’s the thing.20160927_103801If I were going to scour wool for a fine lace shawl or something else that needs super fine yarn, I would choose the bar of detergent method. It’s super easy. Water temperature isn’t too important and if you are a person that gets upset with a bit of dirt being left in the tips, this method takes care of that.

So, here’s what I do. I have one bucket of water to wet the lock, one bucket of water to do the first rinse and a bucket or sink to do a second rinse. The water temperature is just warm. I can eaily stick my hand in it.

Wet the lock, rub one end of the lock on the bar of detergent, turn it around and rub the other end of the lock on the bar. Make sure you keep the lock together and intact while you do this and one lock is never more than about the thickness of my thumb or things get harder.

Take the lock and rinse in the second bucket and then the third bucket. Squeeze out as much water as you can and lay the locks on towels to dry.

And that’s it! Super easy.

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One Response so far.

  1. Kay Smith says:

    I’ve done both ways myself, and I was surprised how quickly the bar of soap method goes! I learned it originally in a SOAR workshop with Margaret Stove – it’s how she preps for the very fine laceweight she spins. Also, it’s easy for me to see which end of the lock is the tip and which is the butt – so I can spin that fine stuff consistently. (I was also surprised to find that I can spin the fine laceweight singles faster on a drop spindle than on a wheel. Who knew?)

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