Fiber Wash Products

Fiber Wash and Rinse Products

Why does raw wool need to be cleaned?

Raw fleece needs to be properly cleaned in order to remove contaminants.  This makes the wool easier to process into a usable fiber product.  

Typically, after raw fleece (greasy wool) has been skirted, it is scoured (washed).

Scouring is the process of removing contaminants such as lanolin (grease), suint (sheep sweat), dung, dirt, and dust from the wool. Raw fleece may contain up to 40% by weight of these contaminants. (Ten pounds of raw fleece may yield only six pounds of scoured wool.)

Lanolin helps to shed water from the sheep as well as protect their skin.  The term lanolin comes to us from the latin for “sheep oil” and is commonly used in cosmetic and personal care products.

Most wool scouring products are essentially heavy-duty detergents specifically designed to remove the grease and dirt found in raw fleece.

The challenge when scouring is to agitate the wool just enough to remove the contaminants without felting the wool fibers.

What types of cleaning products are available?

Scour - Typically the first step in raw fleece cleaning, these products are designed to remove grease (lanolin) and direct from natural fibers.  Can also be used as a "heavy duty" detergent for those really dirty or greasy laundry loads.

Wash - Products that are designed for the "everyday" cleaning of finished products.  Effective at cleaning fiber (angora, alpaca, cashmere, camel, llama, paca-vicuna, qiviut, and yak) that does not contain lanolin (grease) but still needs to be cleaned of dung, dirt and dust. Can also be used for the "everyday" cleaning of finished products.  

Rinse - These are fabric softening and fiber conditioning products.  These are often used to block knitted or crocheted finished projects.

If you don't find exactly what you want, or would like a product recommendation, please call the shop directly at 800-441-9665 or contact us for assistance.