Cleaning Fleece?

I bought some fleece...washed it etc. I started carding (I am new to all this)...and I want to do you clean out the small small bits of straw? I tease it before carding, blow through it etc. Any helpful tecjniques?

I got a wheel this week and am rubbing tung oil on it...can't wait to try it!

SKHolt's picture

I'm not sure about getting all the bits out. Even predrafted fiber I get from vendors still has tiny bits in it on occasion. I'm sure someone will have suggestions.

However, welcome to the spinning world. I've been spinning for nearly three years; two with a Kromski wheel. What kind of wheel do you have. Post pictures if you like. It's always fun.

Andy's picture

You can tease bits out with your fingers as you're spinning, but as SK says, you won't get everything out. More gentle teasing can be done while you're plying, if necessary. After a final soak to set the twist, there should be few noticeable bits left. All depends on how clean the fleece is to start with.

You might like to try combing greasy fleece ( a wide-toothed dog comb with revolving prongs is the best option) and spinning from that, too. Saves all the scouring to start with, as you only have to soak the plied skeins at the end of the process. One thing - it doesn't work so well in the colder weather when the wool grease goes hard. When it's warmer and the grease is soft, it's a breeze.

Whatever, have fun!

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."

wackowally's picture

Ugh, vm (vegetable matter) is evil, EVIL! *shakes fist*

In one of the books I have, The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning I believe, the author discusses "willowing": laying the wool down on a mesh screen and beating the bejesus out of it with two sticks so that the vm will fall through the screen.

Getting the fleece free of as much lanolin as possible also helps as dirt and small pieces of hay and such tend to stick to the lanolin.

Alot of the vm will fall out during spinning, especially if you keep an open drafting triangle but stickers and burrs will need to be picked out by hand.

Well, this is what I wanted to hear. These are tiny "germ" peices and I thought I was being a bad spinner for thinking they could stay. I was hoping it was not a big deal!

I will post photos once I get it set up. I have one more rubbing of oil today to do. It is a Kromski Symphony. She looks like she will be a beauty!

Of course, I tend to do too many projects at once! Heck...I have to caulk some concrete today before it gets too cold so maybe the rubbing may have to wait....