Bag Of Fleece Done

The result of fairly clean fleece, which skirted quickly and easily…


…ready for washing, mordanting, and dyeing with haskap.


Skirting Wool

…a full bin of beautifully clean wool with only a day of work…


Last Fleece, Dirt, & Fine Fibre

…the last Merino fleece…luxurious and clean…
…how much dirt falls through during skirting…
…a large bin contains seven pounds of finished, skirted Merino fibre…quite a bit of weight will be lost during washing,,,

Stock Tanks With Which To Wash Wool

Today it is cold…-26 with windchill; tonight it will drop below -40 with windchill.

However, none of this is any reason to stop preparing to wash wool.  In fact, the sooner the better.  Temperatures will soon start to moderate.  And when items are in stock you had better go pick them up or they may not be there – nor at the same price – tomorrow as remotely as we live.  This morning I went to town to pick up two galvanized steel stock tanks…

103 gallon – 2′ x 2′ x 4′, 169 gallon – 2′ x 2′ x 6′

I had thought to buy two 103 gallon tanks.  However, when I stood there I realized how much more wool could be held in the larger of the two.  So that’s what I bought.  The smaller of them can be used either indoors, or as a pre-heated tank using a propane or electric heater to speed up the next cycle of either the washing or rinsing of the wool.  The largest of tanks – 294 gallons (8′ long) – just seemed too large to be handy when it comes to keeping a supply of water at a constant temperature from end-to-end over the course of a half hour, or even to heat water to 160F beforehand.  There are limits to practicality when it comes to working on an individualized scale.

Each tank is predrilled with a 1 1/4″ hole and drain plug…


I also bought a faucet and fittings for each tank at our local plumbing store…galvanized to match the tank and metal so that if the propane torch were to accidentally touch them they would not melt, like the plastic ones would which came with the tanks…


And I cut rubber gaskets from old inner tubes which I will mount on the tanks’ interiors…