Beyond DIY

Last week I dove in. I’ve been wanting to really dig in and try to process all of my alpaca fiber myself and not sending it to the mill unless I absolutely had to, and now, I see the fruits of my labor.


As you can see this is how I’ve been storing my fiber. Plastic bags coming straight off of the alpaca from last years shearing. One bag commuted suicide and fell to the floor, and God only knows what critters have been rolling around in there, so it’s going to the garbage. Everything else needs skirting, washing, and all that.

I didn’t have all day to go from start to finish, so I started with a fleece that my aunt had already skirted but kept forgetting to send to the mill.


I split it up into two baskets, filled the tub with flesh-melting water and started the first wash. This round was with Dawn dish soap

This was after round three, with hot water and vinegar

The water got blacker and blacker every time! It was ridiculous. Finally after five washes I decided to go ahead and lay it out to dry

Laying it out in the skirting table helped me closer examine the fiber, and made me realize that I had barely made a dent in my attempt, I found wee clumps of dirt here and there. But I take it as a lesson learned. My uncle who helped me put Scarlet together and I are going to make a Wool Picker, which I will use to “open up” the fibers before I wash them. It will definitely help me clean them faster.

Next item in the list: Hand Carders



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