Sorting the Fleece

Lamb picture 2022
Photo by S. Sorensen

Sorting The Fleece
In my last post I explained how I sorted the fleece into sections. The neck area was one pile, the back, the sides and finally the britch area.

The picture below shows the neck in front of the green line , the britch behind the red line, wool from the back is between the blue lines and the side areas are outside the blue lines.

Marked areas of a fleece

Now that the full fleece has been sorted, I begin pulling off the individual locks starting with the back section. A good open fleece makes this job fairly easy as the locks seem to open up like pages in a book.

Rambouillet fleece
Fleece right side up where the locks are easy to see

Set up the fleece to have all tips facing upwards. This allows you to be able to pull the fleece apart lock by lock.
I place the locks into a basket.

Locks sorted for scouring

Now that the fleece has been pulled into individual locks, I will place them into mesh lingerie bags. As the fleece we are dealing with here is a very fine staple this will help eliminate the potential of felting the fibre. The tips are placed to the outside of the bag and the butt end (where it was sheared off the ewe) faces the centre of the bag. Zip ties are woven through the bags, two per bag running from the middle of the bag to the outside of the bag. This keeps the locks separated from each other and the zip ties will stay in better this way. The locks will remain in the bags throughout the scouring, dyeing and drying phases. For the stage of carding and eliminating all the VM I find it so much easier if the fleece is kept in lock form, and the lingerie bags are essential for this.

Locks in a mesh bag keep their structure through the scouring process

Ready for Scouring
We now have completed the sorting and bagging phase of the process. Our next step will be to scour the fleece. Please look for the Rambouillet fleece Part 4 Scouring.
Swing over to our YouTube channel Murlo Discovery Channel for the video of the Rambouillet Fleece Introduction Part 1 and Scouring Part 2.

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