We all know that our wool roving comes from an animal, but what processes does it go through before it gets to me?
‘Greasy fleece’ is the term for wool that has just been shorn from the sheep. The next process is called ‘scouring’ during which the fleece is washed to remove dirt and excess oils from the fibre. (Did you know that the oil from the fibre is called Lanolin and is used in some soaps and cosmetics?)
The fleece should now be almost ready, all that it needs to be brushed into a length of useable roving (wool tops). This process is called ‘carding’. The wool is passed through a carding machine, which untwists and untangles the fibres into one long, smooth length of roving. This process can be performed by hand at home but does take a long time.
The finished roving is also known by the name ‘carded sliver’ and is perfect for dying, spinning and felting.
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