I started washing the fleece I got last week. I decided that I wanted to get to know the process in detail and what better way to get to know the various steps than to do them a lock at a time. Margaret Stove describes a way to wash locks in her video on Spinning for Lace. I decided to use that method.
Here is a lock as I received it. It is probably typical of the locks in the part of the fleece I got. Some are cleaner and some are dirtier.
This is my washing set up. I boiled water in the stainless steel Dutch oven and scooped out half of it with the measuring cup. I added a little cold water from the tap. You can see that in the sink. On the left, on the striped towel are the washed locks that have not yet been rinsed. They've been swished in water, rubbed on soap and then swished in the water again before being squeezed dry and laid out on the towel.
Here is a closer look at them. You can see the soap in this shot also.After I washed about a third of them, I rinsed them in clean hot water using the same method. Swish, squeeze, swish, squeeze. Lay out on towel.
Here is the complete set from about an hour of work last night. That included boiling two lots of water in the Dutch oven. I filled it to about 1" from the top and it seemed to take forever to boil. I think it has a 6 qt capacity.
You can see that the lock at the top left has a lot of vegetal matter left. I opened it up this morning with a hair pick and got a lot of it out. I think I have to do more to clean it up. Most of the rest of the locks are quite clean.
I plan to card them and spin from rolags although I might just spin from the locks directly. I haven't decided and keep waffling between the two.