Tanglewood Farm

where alpacas are a passion, not just a business

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Washing fiber

Ok, so I have several big bags of blankets that I need to process and started to wash several today. In two hours, I got two full blankets washed and spun out. I have pvc pipes with plastic chicken netting attached, so I can lay it over one of my big dog crates to dry, as the weather is not conducive to outdoor drying. I am getting the system down pretty pat now and will spend a few minutes in the morning, pulling the drying fiber apart. Once it is dry, it will be picked. Got six bags of blankets picked the other day with my wonderful Pat Green picker. I wish I had one of those farm sinks in my kitchen, and may change over to one yet. It would make the washing(soaking in Dawn for 30 minutes) and the rinsing(another 30 minutes for each of two rinses) go much more quickly because my two sinks are small. I am thinking of getting some large cooking pots to use, so I could do several batches at once instead of waiting for the stuff to work in the sinks. I use the large lingerie bags to put the fiber in when washing/rinsing/spinning it. Fortunatelty I still have a top loading washing machine, as I have heard the front loaders can't be used because the fiber will felt. I do have the Power Scour, but find Dawn much less expensive, and it does a great job at getting the dirt out of the fiber. I will keep the power scour for the baby alpaca fleece I will process after my big blankets are all processed.