The SpinOff e-letter this week (I’m still waiting on my winter copy to magically appear in my mailbox) talked about Margaret Stove–this woman sounds brilliant. I’m resisting the temptation to spend money I don’t need to spend on ordering a copy of her new lace book. In any case, the blogger at Sweet Georgia described her SOAR experience with the lovely woman, and also mentioned washing locks on a bar of soap.
I’d never heard of this technique before, so naturally I did a little searching. I found one page that mentioned how it worked:
RECIPE FOR WASHING LOCKS OF FLEECE:
Grease or prewashed fleece
3 small tubs of hot water
A bar of Fels Naptha soap
A pH neutral soap or detergent such as Dawn
For this method, separate the fleece into locks about the size of a pencil. Holding one lock by the butt end, dip it into hot water then place it on the bar of soap and gently rub the fleece on the soap until it lathers. Turn the lock around and do the same to the other end. Dip it in the 2 tubs of rinse water and lay it on a towel to dry. This method is especially good for washing fine wools such as Merino. If the fleece is at all tippy, the damaged tips can easily be removed during the washing process by simply pulling them off with your fingernails. And it’s also possible to get dirty tips really clean as the wool will not felt with heavy rubbing as long as it is either underwater or it is on the bar of soap. While this is a very labor intensive method of washing fleece, the end results are well worth the effort.
This sounds quite magical, and also requires much less space than some other methods. Labour intensive, but washing fleece properly is always that. Since it uses so much less space than what I typically do, I’m tempted to give it a try at some point–I’ll try and remember to document it here on the blog as well. Despite my best efforts, there is still an awful lot of fleece that needs washing.