Tag Archives: Tide

Washing Common Wool

Today I washed common, skirted wool in preparation for dyeing a sample with haskap.  I started with a weighed half pound.  It filled a 20 litre stainless steel pot when it was pushed down, but not packed…

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…this is the same half pound set outside the pot…

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Temperature set to 160F…

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With Tide in the water (stir detergent in gently – no suds), the wool immediately soaked in…the pot was 3/4 full of water…

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…after 20 minutes the water was filthy.  Gently push the wool down every five minutes or so, but do not agitate or it will felt…

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Taken out to drain in preparation for a new change of water, here’s a pic of the first washing (right) next to unwashed wool (left)…

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Second wash water…

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Following two washes the wool was rinsed…but the water is still mildly dirty…

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While it needs a second rinsing, the wool was set out to dry since I ran out of soft water…

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…I will rinse the second time before I mordant.

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Items With Which To Wash Bulk Wool

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Needed:

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?)

Instructions:

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 extraction:

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.)

Washing Warp Beam And Cloth Beam Canvases

Today I took the canvases off of the warp and cloth beams.  These were tacked on and came off fairly easily using a small flat screw driver, a lot of pressure to insert it under the head and prying gently and slowly.  Both canvases were very dirty…an indication that it had been neglected in a dirty area.  At first I used a gentle soap in cold water on delicate cycle; the canvas was in a mesh bag.  It came out dirty.  So I used Tide on cold water, and a regular cycle.  This cleaned them well and then I stretched them by hand and hung them to dry.  This was more than satisfactory.

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