The waste of wool less than a kilometre away wouldn’t let go of me.
Most of the sheep’s wool comes from Australia. These are quite a few kilometres of transport from Europe. The waste of wool less than a kilometre away wouldn’t let go of me.
Cleaning sheep’s wool is a big challenge
Two years ago the shepherd gave me a big bag of wool, so I could see if I could use it. Cleaning the sheep’s wool was no fun. It took an awful lot of soap and water, it literally smelled like an hour in the wind. The quality of the wool didn’t seem bad, but cleaning the sheep’s wool in an environmentally friendly way turned out to be a big challenge.
I put the big bag of dirty wool on my land and every now and then I came up with a new idea, which didn’t work. And suddenly the solution was there by itself. With time, the plants even grew a bit through it, the stench had disappeared. And it didn’t feel greasy any more and reasonably clean.
After a test I was still able to felt with it. And after one washing it was relatively clean. I found it interesting enough to ask the shepherd for a few more bags of wool, which he gave me with great pleasure.
Update 2022: The article continues with my first steps on how to clean this wool. In the meantime I have made a lot of progress on this subject. Read here how I came up with the best way to wash this wool after experiencing different methods. See all my blogs about sheep wool here.
Below, my 2019 experiment continues:
Hot water from the sun
The new wool I spread on the land between a folded piece of chicken wire, from the ground away from leaves en twigs. Waiting for the time to do its work again. Plus hot water. When irrigating plants on the land, the black irrigation hoses are usually first filled with hot water from the sun. That water is too hot for the plants, but now very useful. I use it to rinse the wool for a short period of time. The sun dries the wool again. Five weeks and a few short rinses later the wool doesn’t feel so greasy any more and doesn’t smell so strong.
Homemade woolpicker for cleaning
Do you also have a lot of sheep’s wool to wash? What are your experiences?