No, not tonights supper! . . . this is my last Fermented Suint Bath of the season and, as it is Halloween, I thought I would give you a little scare and share the murkier side of my production process with you . . . . . Woooaaahhhh!
A Fermented Suint Bath is the best way to clean the raw fleece of Primitive and Longwool sheep. Breeds that have naturally lower levels of lanolin. It uses less water and soap, making it better for the environment and it is gentler on the fleece, giving me a better product.
I have cleaned all my raw fleece this way over the summer and now, as the frosts are beginning, this lovely Jacob fleece will be the last one that I process this year.
Once skirted, to remove all the dirty bits, the fleece is submerged in a container of cold water and left in the garden for a week or two, or three . . .
Much of the earth, and other organic matter from the fields, floats out of the fleece and sinks to the bottom and natural bacterias develop which combine with the lanolin to form a kind of soap which begins to clean the fleece naturally – brilliant!
It is not necessary, but I then give it a final wash in hot water and eco-soap, just to be absolutely sure it is really, really clean and also smells lovely.
Once it is air dried it is ready to be carded or combed and spun into yarns like these . . . .