To prevent your drum carder from getting too dirty and clogging, it is best to wash raw fleece before you use it. There are two methods of preparing fleeces which depend on whether or not you wish to remove the greases and lanolin from the wool.
Washing Fleece Without Removing The Grease Or Lanolin – Best For Spinning
Put your fleece into a container of cold water and leave to soak, preferably over night. Do not be tempted to squeeze or rub the fleece as this will agitate the fibres and cause the fleece to felt.
After the fleece has soaked overnight, change the water to rinse the fleece until the water is clear. When changing the water do not let the water run on to the fleece or again the agitation of the running water will felt the fleece.
Once the fleece is clean put it into pillow cases and put it in the washing machine on a fast spin cycle. Put the fleece out to dry.
Washing Fleece And Removing The Grease
Follow the instruction above but use hot water and a detergent – I find baby shampoo works well as it does not need much rinsing – some other detergents need more rinsing to remove all traces of soap. As above leave to soak over night before rinsing. Do not change from hot water to cold or visa versa, as this will shrink your fleece.