Raw Fleece Samples

So, I’ve been grabbing up some raw fleece samples to wash and experiment with. Some will get dyed and blended on a drum carder and some will get spun into various yarn for warp on the loom. I figured as I have the opportunity to wash, I will also take pictures of the raw sample and then the washed sample for comparisons. Since these are sample sized, I can get quite a few done in an evening since using various buckets and containers in the house works well. I have learned that though everyone talks about high grease fleece being tough to clean, I’ll take a clean high grease fleece over a dirty low grease fleece any day!


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Racka (Check out the dual coat on that!)

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Navajo Churro (This was the one that was particularly dirty!)

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I love the comparison photos because they really do show how clean a fleece can get in a short time.

So tell me, if any of you are of the type that enjoys fleece processing, what has been your dirtiest fleece and how did you come by it? I’d love to hear of experiences with rarer fleece as well. The racka is such a novelty for me I am not quite sure what to do with it, and I’ve got at least 3 more samples of the stuff.







9 thoughts on “Raw Fleece Samples

  1. Did you then start to look for cleaner fleece in general? I find I don’t mind the dirty stuff too much as long as the price is right and the integrity of the fleece itself is not compromised.

  2. The dirtiest I had was a polyworth and it was really hard to clean. The skirting wasn’t done well either, which didn’t help! I love the processing part..and your pix are fab!

    • Hah! I am pretty sure I’d take a dirty well skirted fleece any day over a clean fleece without the skirting done. However, I think I’ve come to the conclusion I’ll take any fleece at all.

  3. I’ve got a bad of mystery fleece down in the basement. Waiting for some free time to experiment with it. I’ll be sure to take some before and after photos as you have. Truly remarkable transformations.

  4. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying out raw fleece yet, but your samples are so enlightening as to the difference between before and after. I love the variety you have and can’t wait to see what you end up doing with it all. Aside from being able to go back a few more steps in terms of processing (which I can see the appeal)are there other reasons for starting with raw fleece?

    • You know, I’ve been thinking over your question ever since you asked it. And I’ve realized for me there are so many reasons and it may deserve its own blog post. I’ve got 4 more samples drying right now, so I think I will devote an entire post just to your question later this week. It isn’t something I’ve taken the time to think through, so I am very happy you asked.

  5. Well, there is not a lot of raw fleece to come by here, so I can’t afford to be picky. And specifically not the type of wool I like to work with (soft). The dirty ones were for free, they were not shorn for spinning, filled with straw, and I won’t bother with that again. Then I got 10 pounds of Gotland for $25 through a friend which was pretty good and now the same amount of Wensleydale fleece which looks ok too, I don’t think it’s been skirted (still in the sack, also about 10 pounds), so once I do away with the muddy edge bits I think it will be fine too. Dirt and grease doesn’t bother me, but flicking out all the VM is murder, as well as second cuts.

    • I’ve purchased (knowing what I was getting into) very dirty fleece not meant for spinning before so I understand that pain. The price was right though. However, there is a huge difference in the joy factor with something clean and well taken care of. Gotland is one of those breeds it is pretty hard to get your hands on here. I have a 4oz. washed sample around here somewhere and it is amazing stuff. The shine on it is unbelievable. I can’t imagine 10 pounds! I think what I hate most about flicking out large amounts of VM and second cuts is simply the fact that I feel like I am losing so much wool. It pains me.

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