This week I have mostly been washing fleece. This lovely curly stuff is from a Valais Blacknose, simply the cutest sheep ever!
So after checking online for tips, the important stuff involves agitating the wool as little as possible and avoiding temperature changes. Both of which can turn your lovely locks into a felted mass.
Obviously you first need to remove as much debris by hand and if very soiled, a 10 minute pre-soak in water will help remove the worst. Also be mindful that it’s not something you want to do in the kitchen as, your wool and what comes off it is not going to be particularly hygienic in food preparation areas.
I used a method which involves rolling up small bundles of curls inside netting and, as my wool looked fairly clean, I started with a 30 minute soak in hand hot water with some ordinary detergent and a bit of Vanish. Keeping the temperature of the water the same as at the end of each stage, a further soak in fresh mix, followed by a rinse in clean water and a final rinse in water with a bit of white wine vinegar added. The acidic vinegar dissolves residue from the alkaline detergent to preserve your wool.
I let the bundles drip and wrung them lightly before unwrapping into a towel and pressing out some of the water. They were finished above the radiator on one of those peg racks for socks. Very please with the results, not too shabby eh!