Let's get washing some fiber!!!!
Here is what Dalai suggests for washing larger amounts of alpaca/llama fiber in your top loader washing machine:
- Skirt and sort fleece, removing as much hay, undesirable wool, sticks and debris as possible. A good shake outside will remove lots of smaller debris!
- Fill washing machine with lukewarm water.
- Add your favorite soap (Ours is Dawn Dish soap or laundry soap). TURN MACHINE OFF!
- Gently add fiber. Let soak for 45 minutes.
- WITH LID UP ON MACHINE, turn machine on and allow water to drain.
- When the water has drained, turn washer to spin cycle, close lid and allow water to spin from the fiber.
- Remove fiber, wipe out washer.
- Refill washer with lukewarm water, turn machine off. Gently add fiber, allow it to soak for 1 hour. Repeat step #4, or soak in lukewarm water again.
This process should give you a nice clean, fluffy fiber that is ready for the dye pot or let it dry on a screen outside as it is. If you feel it needs further washing, just repeat the two steps. Some Camelid fibers have more dust than others to remove. (I swear my llamas will look for ANYthing to roll in- just to spite me!) Camelid fiber may need a few extra rinses to be sure the dust is gone. Wa-la!
(To wash smaller amounts, just use the same procedure in your kitchen sink, with a smaller amount of soap.)