Jenny Brandis' Handcrafts

Washing Merino wool

 Merino wool is traditionally hard to spin but this method makes it much easier. I also use it when my fleece is very dirty or greasy.


  • Hot water - this removes most grease and pre-shrinks the wool
  • Laundry detergent, although not wool mixes as they can make dying of the wool much too hard.
  • Washing soda can be added for extra greasy fleece.
  • Plastic basket with holes in the sides and bottom, this must fit in your laundry trough.
  • Mesh cut to size of the basket, here you can use pliable fly wire, onions bags etc. several pieces.
  1. Pull the wool into staples and put a layer of wool on the bottom of the basket. Place a sheet of mesh over this, then a layer of wool, mesh etc until the basket is full.
  2. Fill the laundry trough with HOT water and the detergent to the depth of the basket.
  3. Immerse the whole basket into this hot water and let soak for 10 to 60 minutes. This not only removes dirt but also most grease. DO NOT AGITATE as this causes felting.
  4. Take the basket out of the dirty water (this water can be put on the garden if the detergent is biodegradable)
  5. Fill the trough with hand hot water and put basket into this to rinse.
  6. Repeat rinse.
  7. Roll wool in a towel and lightly spin dry.
  8. Remove from towel and place in a shady area to dry.
  9. Comb, flick or card as usual and spin.



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