Felting the Schoonebeker Fleece

I spread out the Schoonebeker fleece to look at it:

Lovely colour. Quite a bit of twigs unfortunately. It has lovely brown long locks and grey fluff at the shorn sides. It’s not very big though, for the price I paid I expected a large fleece, this seems to be half that size. Not big enough to put on the couch, better suited for a chair.

I turned it upside down to put Bergschaf on the back but when I poured soapy water on it the Bergschaf didn’t grab the Schoonebeker well enough. It preferred to felt onto itself and I ended up with a layer of brown Bergschaf separated from the fleece.

Any wool put on the back needs to be pretty fluffy. That’s why often merino is chosen. That’s why woolpicking works so well, it’s the way it’s done traditionally from Turkey to Mongolia.
This bergschaf is not woolpicked, it is carded fleece. Perhaps it is too coherent in its layers.

Perhaps I’m overthinking this…

Anyway, I took off the Bergschaf and started again. This time I fluffed up the bits of Bergschaf, just like a was a one woman wool picker, and put the pieces of fluff between the shorn parts, in individual creases where the fleece opens up naturally. It took about an extra hour:

Then I worked these fluffbits into the fleece a bit, digging with only my fingers. No water.


I put a layer of Bergschaf over that, reasoning that this layer would at least grab on the little bits of fluff already buried in the fleece.

Then I flipped the whole hting over in a rather impressively coordinated move that I cannot explain nor reproduce.

From the right side I checked whether all locks were positioned correctly: brown tips outward, shorn light coloured parts inward, buried in brown Bergschaf. I corrected where necessary. Then I poured warm soapy water over it.

Now I worked from the tips, digging my fingers into it. I poured more water over it. Worked it a bit, only digging downwards, not sideways. Basically I pressed out all the air and made sure the shorn bits connected to the brown fluffy bits connected to the brown carded fleece.

Then I folded the plastic sheets over, making neat folds at the sides so the water would not leak out. I rolled it tight around a rolling pin I have (also known as a bit of plumbing piping) and rolled the package to and fro for a bit.

Then I unfolded, rotated the piece 90 degrees, folded it back up, resumed rolling.

I rolled for about 2 minutes. Unfolded to check. Made repairs here and there. Rolled a bit more. Then had to go inside for a rest. And tea and cake.

That’s pretty much how I spend the afternoon.
Roll, rest, cake. Repeat.

In the evening I unfolded for the last time and watered the fleece with the garden hose to wash away the very filthy water. I drain it in a bucket that I empty in the outside sink that’s connected to the sewing system, there’s no need to pour the soapy water into the ground.

The back looks alright. Bergschaf and Schoonebeker both felt readily and the trick with the buried fluffy bits had worked very well. The back is no a unity.

Tomorrow I’ll have another look. See if it’s fulled enough.
If so then I’ll put it in the washer.

(the felting process consists of two steps: fulling and felting. Fulling is making sure all the bits are grabbing on to each other. Felting is the shrinking bit, when it becomes a dense, matted fabric. I did the fulling by hand, with the rolling. The felting will be done in the washer. It’s too hard work for me to do at the moment.)

I’ve never done that before…

On the 30 minutes program I think. And not with dish washer soap. But either washing powder or soap I use for felting.

I hope I don’t break the machine, this fleece is pretty heavy when it’s wet…
 

hahaha! Check out this “passive felting”! Just put the dry fulled fleece in your bed and sleep on it, you’ll felt it in your sleep.

I found it while researching online (whilst eating cake)(apple cake)( upside down oats cinnamon apple cake)(From apples from my own tree)(I eat it with sour creme or clotted cream. And there’s 125 grams of full cream butter in there, that’s more than a whole stick!)
It’s great felter’s cake!:
felters-cake

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