Saturday, 5 September 2015

Big Box of Fleece

I needed a fleece for my Level 6 in-depth study project.     I had a few requirements for this fleece.  It had to be medium or medium/fine, with a 4 inch staple, and hopefully fairly free of VM and not dripping in lanolin.   It is much easier to find a raw fleece in the spring, right after shearing.  The reality is, that I couldn't find anything much local.  Eventually, I decided to take a bit of a risk. On Monday,  I called up the Canadian Co-op Wool Growers Premium Fleece Division, Eastern location in Carlton Place   I ordered 1 white fleece, 30-32 microns, 4 in staple length.  Jim, in the warehouse was most helpful.  The fleece was packaged and shipped on Tuesday.  Yesterday, I received notice that I could pick up my parcel at the post office today.  I will say that was a bit of a wait and an exercise in patience.

This is what I dragged home this afternoon.   It wasn't overly heavy but it was a bit bulky.   It did took a bit like whatever was inside, was trying to get out!  I checked the packing invoice before I opened the box.   The fleece weighed in at 14lbs!

This is all I could see when I flipped over the box flaps.

I tipped out the fleece and tried to unroll it.  As you can see, I was unsuccessful.   It was a huge pile of fleece - you know, 14 lbs of it.  I'm pretty sure it was rolled up nicely to begin with, but with the compression and trying to get it out of the plastic bag, the fleece got a bit twisted around.

It is a lovely fleece.  That crimp is throughout the fleece.  The lock structure is great throughout the fleece.   There is a bit of VM in a few places, but not ridiculous amounts.     I pulled a lock to check crimp, strength and condition.  This is a bit dirty on the outside but the tips are stable, and really not much VM at all.

I pulled 3 locks from 3 separate places on the fleece.  I swished them about in hot soapy water a few times, then rinsed them, rolled them in a towel to absorb the excess water, and laid them outside to dry.

Wow!  Did they ever wash up nicely.   Super white, no staining, and still strong.   I can't wait to spin up a sample of this fibre.   Did I mention that it was $3 lb, plus shipping?  While I fully agree with supporting small flocks, sometimes a lovely, huge and quality fleece at a great price is a nice treat!   Would I order from them again? You bet I would, in a heartbeat.   Now I'm wondering if I should try the Western Division, to see about one of those lovely, clean, fine Western range fleeces.....

Guess what I'm doing for the next week or two?  Yup!  I'm washing fleece.

No comments: