We can wash your wool
(or teach you how to do it yourself) We have limited washing facilities and therefore encourage people to wash their own wool. Further down this page we provide washing instructions using your favorite laundry detergent.
For those of you who do not want to wash your own wool, we can wash it here. We use hot water and a detergent which is gentle on the wool and do not use an acid bath as is used in some scouring processes. You can save money by removing any wool containing manure tags before shipping it to us to process. This reduces both your shipping and washing costs. Wool can lose up to half its weight during the washing process, so please consider this when sending grease wool for a project.
We do not wash llama, angora, or other exotic fibers (they usually do not need it for carding).
IMPORTANT It is important NOT to agitate or abruptly change the temperature of wet wool. If either occurs, the wool will become felted (matted) and will be impossible to process further.
To wash 7 lbs. of wool (regular washer) or 10 pounds of wool (extra large capacity washer), fill your washing machine with HOT water (for merino at least 140 F but 160 is better). Dissolve 6 times the amount of detergent you would usually use for a load of laundry and two cups of ammonia. Turn the machine OFF and place the wool in the washer. Submerge it, by pressing it down with a plunger or your hand protected by a rubber glove. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes. Turn washer to SPIN and turn it back on to let the water spin out.
SECOND WASH and THIRD WASHES
Remove wool from washer and refill with hot water dissolving the same amount of detergent as in step 1, but don’t use any ammonia. Return wool to water opening up any muddy tips in the process. Don’t let the agitator turn on. Let soak for 30 minutes then spin out.
Repeat for the the third wash. If you have really hard water, you might have to do a fourth wash.
After the last wash, don’t remove the wool from the machine. Refill the washer with hot water, being careful to shut the machine off when it is full and before agitation starts. Let it soak for 30 minutes and spin the water out. Repeat the rinse step for one more rinse or until the rinse water is no longer cloudy. Three rinses are usually enough.
DRYING the WOOL
Spread out on screens or racks to dry.
Clean wool should feel like cotton and leave no shiny film on your fingers when the ends are rubbed between your fingers.
3776 Forshaug Rd, Mount Horeb WI 53572, 608-437-3762
Please direct comments or questions to: Anne@blackberry-ridge.com