I spent this, the hottest day of the year so far in an indescribably awful smell and up to my armpits in filth. SO many horse flies and much interest and ‘help’ from the dogs! I have been brewing a very special type of home-brew. The fermenting fleece! This prepared concoction is now bubbling away nicely giving off the most awful smell. It is now ready to scour the fleeces I have queued up for this process.
No detergent and no hot water and very little water in fact is used to cleanse the fleeces ready for spinning. The only thing there is a lot of is smell and patience! The safest thing is that there is no danger of felting the fleeces and it seems to me the most organic way to set about scouring.
Here is a snap shot of a small amount almost ready to enter stage 2. We used these Suffolk fleeces to prepare the fermenting solution. They are being rinsed off ready to go back in the smell and slime for 3 – 4 days. Then they will come out clean! I then rinse them off and they dry. The fleece retains some of its lanolin for spinning which makes it easier to handle. The final washing as yarn removes the last of the lanolin and then it is ready for you guys to make wonderful things with!!
My hands are 20 years younger after today!! The smell is dreadful but the effect on my skin is miraculous!!