After shearing, lay the wool out on the table and trim off the neck wool, all edges of the fleece, and the sweat locks – the greasy fleece from under and around the tail and legs. Part 3 (nine months even later): Two sinks speeds up the short process a bit, but then the time you save it basically wasted because you have a second sink to clean when you are done with the wool washing project. Do not agitate the wool. Washing raw wool (often referred to as Fast facts Shearing usually takes place once a year and most woolgrowers When the fleece is clean and dry, it is then carded into roving or batts. Shearing is a procedure that allows farmers to earn extra income. I’m super interested in all things sheep so I can decide if this is the right move for us. Step 7: Pour up to three tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into the washer. It rained yesterday and the sheep are cleaner than they've been in weeks." Pour in about 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. BEFORE putting the wool in, add enough soap to make the water feel slippery. scouring) removes dirt, straw, and wool grease – lanolin from the Gently grasp the sheep underneath her chin and use your hand to stretch her backward. Once weighed, it can be soaked and made ready for dyeing. Take the wool out of the water and drain the sink or tub. Unshorn sheep become itchy in the heat and begin rubbing on hay racks, fences and each other. Sell it as raw fleece? When making up your dye pot, you take into account the (dry) weight of the materials to be dyed. Once you fleece is fully dry it’s time to pick and card it. when cleaning a big batch of dried wool all at once, it is not a Hand carding is relatively easy, but it does take a little practice. needle felted bear sells for $125 on Etsy. In the January 2010 newsletter, we talked about keeping your sheep’s wool in tip-top shape in preparation for shearing (see “Winter Care for a Cleaner Fleece”). Pretty up the sheep just like you are getting ready to take them to Drying time will depend on air circulation and temperature. The wool of these animals is highly valued, but it is important to consider that its quality depends not only on the breed of sheep, but also on the conditions of their keeping and diet. Shearling is commonly used in jackets, coats, shoe linings and slippers. And, as with anything, practice makes perfect. We are looking to add some sheep into the mix for wool milk and mutton. Some of the reviews on this site may be compensated by the companies whose products were reviewed. Allow the wool to remain in the vinegar, and water bath for at least 10 minutes. Part 2 (nine months later): "I'm glad we took those shearing classes. Repeat this several times until the fibers are evenly distributed across the carder. Learn How to Shear Sheep. Keep it for yourself? You can wash a whole fleece in your bathtub or another large container that can hold hot water, or if you’d rather, you can wash smaller batches in your sink. Card the wool onto the stationary carder again. Allow the wool to soak in the sink for at least 10 minutes to loosen the dirt thoroughly. Cruelty-Free Wool Processing. This can lead to fence damage and damaged fleece. First, lay them cut side down and remove all the big pieces of vegetable matter (VM)-hay, grass, straw, sticks, etc. This site may earn commissions when you click on certain links. Basically, you want to remove the belly wool, and any matted or soiled wool, including the neck wool which can get lots of hay bits in it. Use your left hand to put pressure on the sheep's right shoulder joint to keep her steady. Be careful to avoid doing this and if you hire a shearer ask him to do the same. Here are my simple steps for washing alpaca wool: Get two basins of … WASH / SCOUR. This typically occurs when the lamb is around 7 months old. Sheep raised for wool and meat also face a variety of painful mutilations. Gently squeeze the water from the wool. For a detailed guide to skirting see “OUR FIRST NTSRI TUNIS WOOL SHOW! Dyed wool roving typically demands a price of at least $5 for only a few ounces. Remove the saturated sheep fleece from the dirty water and carefully place it on the drying rack. When showing fiber animals, they don't wash the sheep. Different people also have different views on what detergent is best. Or process it and sell the finished product? (I’m right-handed so I put this carder in my left hand. Step 1: Fill washing machine with warm water. First, hold one carder in one hand with the handle pointed away from you. Some will need to be picked over for grasses and hay and other debris before being washed, very carefully in water to get rid of most of the lanolin (an oil that sheep’s skin produces). You will simply have to carefully do all of the agitation and filling the tub with warm water manually. The lanolin in the raw wool will destroy you leech field and septic system, be warned. Hi Amber, Sheep are great for a homestead! If you have a double sink, you could use one for the first stage of the scouring process and one for the second, or simply drain and refill a single sink, as I did. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you want scented wool (some folks do this when using the raw wool stuffing) drop in up to 10 drops of your chosen essential oil as well. As you can see, a beginner fiber enthusiast can do any of this. The quality of wool you start the process with greatly effects the yarn you will have at the end. Sheep can be used for meat, wool and milk. Wool of poorly fed sheep lacks fat and sheen and is always dull. Fill the sink with warm water – just enough to cover the amount of wool you are washing and still allow it to move freely in the water. Some people like to use very hot water (160F+) but most people just use hot tap water (120F). Step 2: Pour in 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. DO NOT AGITATE-agitation makes felt. You can spin using a rolag or use it for felting. Breed matters. Rinse the large, plastic container clean and fill once again with 71.1 degrees Celsius water. • After shearing off the wool from the belly, legs and face, the rest of the fleece is removed in a single piece. Carding can be done with hand carders, a drum carder or even an electric drum carder. Either a bathtub, bucket or a sink, depending on how much of the wool you want to wash at one time. I use Blue Dawn because it is a superb grease cutter, and is not abrasive. • Fleeces are sorted at shearing according to their quality. Share. Push the stationary carder along the teeth of the working carder and transfer the wool to the working carder. Fiber artists use only natural materials to make the dolls, stuffed toys, and needle felted animals, and wet felted playscapes – and are willing to pay a handsome price for quality materials dyed in a low tox manner provided by homesteaders just like you instead of commercially manufactured items that are mass produced and infused with chemicals. These are very short cuts of wool that occur when you go over the same area more than once with your shears. You'll need some sort of a tub. Keep firmly holding the sheep between the knees, and bring the shears up along the inside of the right leg. And then bring the shears across for removing the wool along the crotch (you should repeat this blow to … shear over 140 sheep a day. Repeat steps 1-4. If the water isn’t quite clear you can rinse one more time. This shearing course will give you a straightforward, practical guide to the art of shearing. How to clean your sheep shearing machine, combs and cutters. to clean raw wool, wash and brush the animals before removing it. Shearing the wool before the flies hatch, gets rid of the dirty soiled fleece. The lanolin sheep produce makes them fairly water proof. If you learn how to make a Waldorf doll after watching our tutorial videos and viewing the step by step photo guide, you could sell an unfinished head (wool head shape with or without a nose only) for about $25 to $50 each. So as you go through your normal year, try and keep the wool as clean as possible. The sink water will feel very slick from the soap or Wisk used and the lanolin that you are releasing from the wool. Again, remain very careful not to manipulate it too much, and cause wet felting to occur. Allow the wool to remain in the vinegar, and water bath for at least 10 minutes. If so, this highly profitable homestead side hustle might be just what you have been looking for to make money off your land or small farm. Do you own sheep or have a friend who does? to heat and agitation will cause it to “felt”. Step 5: Allow the wool to soak in the washer for 25 minutes. difficult nor expensive. It consists mainly of just letting the wool soak in soap and then draining the water and repeating until the wool is clean. You can push it under the water, but don’t agitate it or you’ll felt the wool. When cleaning shearling slippers, it is recommended you only clean them as needed to remove dirt. Change ), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Getting More Out of Your Wool, part 1: Shearing and Processing, In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. Sheep are grazing mammals often kept as livestock on farms. Ultimately, you don’t have to wash alpaca fleece like sheep’s fleece, because alpacas don’t have oils, lanolin, and suint like sheep. Let's wait until after the next rain and then shear the sheep as soon as they're dry so the wool will be cleaner." You can also follow these same steps to wash wool in large batches using a plastic tub. Washing your wool in laundry bags keeps it together nicely. Little bits of straw and grass will work their way out of dense wool during the scouring process, only revealing themselves as the sheep fleece dries. Are you considering it? Remove the wool, and begin dying immediately while it is still wet or place it on a towel or rack to dry for one to three days before storing for future use. Washing of sheep is generally only done with sheep that have been shorn and don't have much fiber (like market lambs where you want to show off the muscle). ( Log Out /  Rubbing the wool causes the fleece to felt on the sheep’s body. Take care not to manipulate the wool to sink it into the water any more than you have to in order to avoid wet felting. What will you do with your bags of wool? Besides their smaller size, you can raise them for meat, wool, and milk. labor intensive process, and can be completed easily even if you are To reduce the amount of time it takes The Woolery offers a full line of scour products from Kookaburra, Namaste Farms and Unicorn. The wool table top consists of slats spaced approximately 12 cm apart. The dyed wool roving is often sold to fabric artists, and used to make needle felted animals, wet felting play mats, and beautiful home decor. ( Log Out /  Shaking your fleece out will help remove some of the dust, dirt and vegetable matter (VM). Here in Snowdonia, the farms still join forces to help one another to shear the flocks. Step 3: Either manually agitate the drum again to mix in the soap or turn on the washing machine briefly (about 30 seconds) to mix in the liquid dish soap. You do not want to move the wool so much that you create soap suds. Draw your clippers toward the neck, stopping just below the chin. Place the wool back into the water, and gently immerise every last bit of it. Step 9: Carefully remove the scoured raw wool, and lay it out on drying racks (baking rack, old but clean screen, or dog cage panels all work well) or a towel to dry. Step 6: Turn the washing machine to the rinse setting or the final spin cycle setting to drain the water from the washer. Is the cleaned, dry wool then ready to use for stuffing dolls? And then when you bring the sheep up to get her sheared, you want to try to pick off all that loose wool. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. the wool wet and pliable, is vital to the wet felting craft process, Step 8: Fill the washer with warm water again, and manually agitate the drum to mix in the distilled white vinegar thoroughly. Lambs wool is wool that is taken from sheep at their first shearing. Here are some of my favorites (you can also google “hand carding” or “drum carding” for additional resources): Once you’ve carded your fiber you’re ready to spin it or felt it. If you’re drying wool indoors putting a fan near the wool will help it dry faster (don‘t point it directly at the wool). Cleaned raw wool sells for about $25 a pound. ), Draw wool across the carder; take the other carder (the working carder) in your other hand and place over the 1. DO NOT ring out the wool as you wood a dish towel, or needle felting will almost certainly happen. When well cared for, sheep can live up to 20 years. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Step 4: Load up to 2 and a half pounds of raw wool into the washing machine. Shearing process is done in this way: A sheep is caught by the shearer. No, I wouldn't wash the sheep before you sheared unless you could: (1) Get them completely dry before shearing/getting themselves dirty again (2) Protect them from any moisture whatsoever--the protective lanolin oil in the wool will be washed out. We are enrolled in the Amazon Associates program, so we may earn a commission if you purchase something from Amazon after clicking one of our links. If the washed wool is going to be dyed, you absolutely do not want to dry it. We want to keep the sheep as clean as possible. Sheep shearing is an important and social time in the farming calendar. Place the wool back into the water, and gently immerise every last bit of it. "I wish the sheep shearer would hurry up and get here. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Sheep generally have a lifespan of 6 to 14 years. Having a bit of wool on the sheep in the summer, rather than none at all, allows the wool fiber to dissipate heat more quickly. Gently squeeze the water from the wool. The better the sheep eats, the more fat in the wool gives softness. Let the wool soak for 15-20 minutes then take the wool out of the water and drain the sink or tub. A word of caution – cats and other animals do like to lie on or play with drying wool! Gently brush the working carder over the wool and towards you. Soak the wool in the hot, soapy water for 20 minutes. Slowly agitate the wool around with your hands. Learn how to shear sheep with Humble by Nature farmer and award-winning shearer Tim Stephens. I hope you’ll join me. It can be time consuming (washing, for example) but it’s not difficult. Some will only use Dawn, but I’ve started to use laundry detergent after learning that some fiber mills use it. When raw wool is washed, it is at 140 degrees to melt the lanolin away. Hair sheep do not require shearing because they lack sufficient woolly fibers or … Shear the Chest, Neck, and Chin Next up is the neck, chest, and chin of your sheep. Stir the water a little to mix the detergent in but don’t make bubbles. How to Clean an Oilcloth Coat Suede on one side and wooly on the other, shearling coats offer a bohemian unisex look that gives any ensemble a sense of style that is rugged and carefree. Proverbs 31:19 (NIV), Stages of Lambing (warning…graphic photos), Getting More out of Your Wool, part 2: Spinning and Felting, Getting More out of Your Wool, part 3: Marketing and Selling Wool & Yarn Online, www.joyofhandspinning.com/hand-carding.shtml, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-eEP8fUAnY&playnext_from=TL&videos=uS8FC9I19_I, www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gmBMbCne5M&feature=related. Now that you have a beautifully skirted fleece in your hands it’s time to wash it! Finally, go around the edges of the fleece, and feel throughout the fleece, to remove any clumps of fleece that are matted or have “tags”, or clumps of manure, burrs, or other debris. At our Sanctuaries, shearing is solely for the sheep—and we take as much time and care as possible throughout the process. Hi Tara, thank you for this information. So we don't want things like corn and feed and hay and straw. Repeat steps 4-6 until the fibers are all well aligned. an off grid homesteader. Cleaning and dying wool is neither Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Put HOT water in a large tub or washer, enough water so that when the wool is submerged it isn’t too cramped. ( Log Out /  Do not agitate the wool. Refill the sink or tub with the same temperature water (don’t add any detergent this time), place the wool in the water and let soak for 15-20 minutes. Image of spiders, animals, scissors - 187220646 In your hands place the wool causes the fleece how to clean sheep wool after shearing all off in one piece wool that is from... Of … Photo about sheep wool after shearing the belly wool and discard, container. 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Boards, to come back to it in the vinegar, and milk below the chin ’ t make.. Fed sheep lacks fat and sheen and is not abrasive to try to pick all... Of scour products from Kookaburra, Namaste farms and Unicorn place it on sheep! Hay and straw stuffing dolls move for us step 1: fill washing.! An affiliate link husbandry and crucial to their quality took those shearing classes fiber up towards heel. Ntsri TUNIS wool SHOW shearing, sheep are cleaner than they 've been weeks... Wool so much that you have a lifespan of 6 to 14 years: Turn the washing machine the. Used in jackets, coats, shoe linings and slippers hot tap water 120F! Wool grease – lanolin from the soap or Wisk used and the sheep shearer would hurry and! The chin as much time and care as possible soapy water for 20 minutes a pound kept livestock... When cleaning shearling slippers, it is amazing how quickly it is a procedure that allows farmers earn! Certainly happen minutes then take the wool so much that you have a lifespan of to! When raw wool in laundry bags keeps it together nicely the first time we sheared our sheep while others already. Dust, dirt and vegetable matter ( VM ) to carefully do all of the,...