How to skirt a fleece

We will try and help you know what fiber is preferable and which is not. We have sketched and marked each type of animal . We think visuals are important. The photos have been marked with words to help you know a fleece better. This will help you understand the best parts of a fleece.

 Most of the fleeces you buy should be skirted, but in the case it is not, here are some suggestions.

Sheep Fleece

  • Lay the fleece out like a pelt for examination with the shorn side down.

 

  • Remove as much vegetable matter as possible separating the locks as you move along the fleece to find hard to spot burrs or other VM.

 

  • Shake the table to allow any second cuts to fall out. Also pick out as much of the 2nd cuts that do not fall out with shaking.

 

  • Remove any heavily vegetative fiber as this will only contaminate the fiber in the processing. You will most likely find these sections at the base of the neck and sometimes along the spine.

 

  • Remove all manure tags which are wool coated with manure.

 

  • Remove britch wool which is the coarse hair fiber from the tail end and lower thigh.

 

  • Remove any belly wool it will be very dirty, short, and matted.

 

  • Remove the head wool which will be coarse and could contain chaff and vegetable matter.

 

  • Remove all weathered wool as it is dry and coarse due to sun damage, water staining, or harsh weather conditions, is usually found along the backbone of the sheep. *The backbone and back neck areas will only need to be removed if stained or tender due to weathering, or contain lots of vegetable matter.

  • The prime clip or blanket area of the alpaca fleece can come off in one piece, other areas are taken off in sections. While the alpaca is being shorn, many alpaca owners will separate the blanket from seconds.

  • There are times when the neck area is of good quality and sometimes portions of it are similar in quality to the blanket, but usually it should be put in a second-grade bag. But if you find areas of the neck are of the same weight and quality as the blanket, put them in the blanket bag.

  • The middle legs are usually also of good quality, and should go into the second-grade bag. Some people make a "third-grade" or "remainders" bag for fibers of less quality than seconds. Though most of the 2nds and 3rds are too short to process without the addition of wool.  We suggest 2nds to be used for rug yarn.

  • While second and 3rd grade fibers aren't a good choice for spinning yarn, they can be used for mulch in the garden!

  • Please ask your shearer not to go back over the alpaca to clean up uneven areas until all of the good fiber has been collected.

Alpaca Fleece

Goat  Fleece

  • Lay the fleece out like a pelt for examination with the shorn side down and the outside.

 

  • Remove as much vegetable matter as possible separating the locks as you move along the fleece to find hard to spot burrs or other VM.

 

  • Shake the table to allow any second cuts to fall out. Also pick out as much of the 2nd cuts that do not fall out with shaking.

 

  • Remove all sweaty, short, cotted, or kempy mohair. While the orange-brown stains cannot be washed out of mohair, you may wish to save any of these portions to create a variegated yarn..

 

  • Remove all manure tags which are wool coated with manure.

 

  • Remove britch wool which is the coarse hair fiber from the tail end and lower thigh.

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Dropping fiber off? Please make an appointment. 
Accepting new customers on a limited basis

Liberty Wells - Salt Lake City, UTAH , United States 84105

info@spinderellas.com 

801.668.0563

At Spinderellas Creations Fiber Processing Mill, we are committed to our core philosophies:

  • sustainability

  • minimally processed wool- alpaca - mohair

  • hands that touch each item from farm to finished goods

  • support of local ranchers

  • support of local business

  • slow craft /slow textile products.

For us it’s more than a philosophy,

it's a way of life.

A portion of the money from your order goes to support Footprints of the Son. An non-profit helping disabled children in Haiti.

© 2019 by Spinderellas Creations