Phone - 570-965-2679
Washing Your Fiber
Dirty and contaminated fiber will get our equipment dirty resulting in low quality processing and slower production for you and all of our customers. As a result we will not process fiber until it meets our standards for cleanliness.
We at Loch's Fiber Mill understand that you may want to wash your own fiber to save processing fees. If the fiber you send us is sufficiently clean we will not rewash it, however it must pass our "play with it test" or we will be required to wash it and you will be charged for that service.
The main trick to getting your fiber clean is having very hot water. Your water temperature must be around 160O F (71.1O C).
160O F water is scalding hot! This is well above the water temperature found in the typical home and very dangerous to work with. In the home, a water temperature of 120O F (48O C) or lower is considered to be the maximum safe temperature to avoid burns. Temperatures of 130O to 140O F (54.4O to 60O C) may be found in some homes but are considered very hazardous, especially if there are young children or older adults in the home. If you are able to get your water up to 160O F for fiber washing, take great care to avoid burning yourself – and keep children away from the wash water!
Water Temperature Safety Chart
Some folks tells us they wash their animals before they get shorn, so washing the fiber is not necessary. While this can help some, you CAN NOT wash the fiber on the animal with water Hot enough to remove the grease and perspiration! Washing an animal with 160O F water will cook the animal!
The next requirement is using a good degreasing soap. We find that a high quality dish washing liquid works well for this.
Wash your fiber in small batches so that the fiber floats freely in your wash basin. Drain and Rewash then Rinse. If the rinse water is still dirty then repeat the process until the rinse water remains clear.
If possible spin the excess water out of the washed fiber using just the spin cycle of your washing machine. Put the fiber in mesh laundry bags first, and ONLY SPIN do not agitate it. Agitation of wet fiber can cause unwanted felting!
The commercial extractor we use to remove
One excellent method for drying your fiber it to lay window screens across saw horses and spread the wet fiber on the screen until it’s dry. Allow the fiber to Dry Completely before bagging it.
After it's dry "play with it" rubbing it between your hands and fingers. If the fiber has a tacky or greasy feel, it is not clean enough!