On Monday evening I washed fleece. Yummy, long stapled fleece from the the Pacific N.W. They must be very happy sheep because the fibre is very nice; clean, long and strong. I had two ziplock packets of just over 100 grams each - 4 oz. Imperial measurements. There was a grey, which has totally seduced me colourwise, with it's sun faded tips and blue grey tone for the rest of it. I washed it normally, in the sink, with the regular precautions of no sudden temperature changes nor any agitation. It turned out nicely The other is what I think to be a Lincoln cross. The locks were so well defined, even crammed into a ziplock, that I absolutely had to wash them carefully to keep the lock structure intact. Just a warning, this is the technique that I always tell myself, I'll never use because it is too time consuming and fussy! It is but sometimes....
First, I grabbed a piece of fibreglass window screen. I keep several pieces for use in both washing and drying fibre. I used the larger piece which was about 45cm x 90 cm (18in. x 36 in.). I carefully separated the locks, or groups of locks that some seemed to be in. I laid them out on the screening to make sure they were intact locks that I was working with and to see how much I had. There are two ways to do this, one is to make a single layer of locks, package and washing each layer separately. This method works well, but I find it somewhat tedious and very time consuming. Instead, I layered the locks on top of each other. If I had enough screening, I could have used a layer of that between the locks, but I've never really had much of a problem with just using two or three layers of locks at a time.
I filled a sink up with very hot water and a good squirt of dishsoap. I tend to use Dawn, because that is what the dishwishers in my family like (they WISH we had a dishwasher!), but any good quality detergent will do, even laundry soap if it doesn't have bleach, optical whiteners etc. added. I gently pushed the fibre packet into the hot water and let it soak for about 20 minutes. I removed it, squeezed it out gently and redid the process - once more with hot, soapy water and two rinses.
Of course having washed fleece in the winter, with our dry winter and dryer wood stove heated air, setting up the rack in close proximity to the wood stove and fan circulated air, helped it dry very quickly. It was easy to separate each lock. This will be so fun to spin.