1 – hot water
2- steel stock tank w galvanized grating 2″ off bottom
3 – drain plugs
4 – propane heater
5 – skirting / drying racks (4 x 4 or 2 x 2 wire w 2×4 frame on saw horses)
6 – detergent (Norwex / some report Tide does just as well?)
Skirt wool on skirting racks. Pull into small pieces. Discard any felted/too dirty wool and shorts. Wool will clean itself in doing so – this procedure is critical in that it makes it much easier to wash if cleaned well.
Water needs to be between 150 – 160F (65 – 70C). Detergent needs to be added before adding the wool o that it does not form suds. Add wool to water. Gently press down. Maintain temperature of water. Water at top will cool. Gently press wool down every 5 minutes (approx.) in order to circulate water (note: consider how to achieve this without agitation). Do not agitate at all during washing / rinse. Drain. Repeat.
Wash twice; rinse twice.
Set on racks to dry.
Lanolin can be commercially extracted from wool at 70C. I wonder if instead of using detergent the first time (i.e. use instead 160F/70C water alone) if the drained water can then be processed for lanolin extraction by boiling? Detergent can then be used as outlined above: two wash cycles and two rinse cycles.
(*Note: The principles behind this procedure was outlined to me by a commercial wool processor from the region. While discussing the particulars of my own life here, it was thought that the above outline would work well. I have not yet tried this, but hope to do so within a week or two.)