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Processing wool - instructions

On this page I would like to explain step by step how sheep wool is processed - from raw wool to the finished wool ball.  For me, the nice thing about working with wool is that the finished end product is still a long way to go and that you can fully embrace the path to get there. I would be happy if you too want to get involved in this beautiful, meditative work. 


Washing wool


Material: a crate, a pair of gloves, curd soap, vinegar, water

To wash the wool, I put about 4 handfuls into a container and add enough lukewarm water so the wool is fully covered


I use my gloves to press the wool under water so that it’s submerged more quickly. Then I pour out the water and repeat the process until the worst of the dirt is out.


This usually means 3-4 rounds. I then add another round of water, but this time I also add 150ml of soap and 150ml of vinegar as natural softener. I let this soak for at least 2 hours, then I empty out the water and wash the wool with water only.


Drying wool

Material: a sheet, sunshine

After I emptied out the water, I put the wool on a sheet that I lay in the sun. I cover the wool with the sheet, meaning I wrap it in the sheet, so that no direct sunlight shines on the wool, because that makes it turn yellow

Wolle zupfen


Plucking wool

Material: Hands

When the wool is dry, I pluck it with my hands, so that all the fibers are arranged next to each other. This makes the carding easier, because no knots can be formed.



Material: carding machine, knitting needle

The way the carding machine works is that I first take a small piece of plucked wool and place it underneath the two cylinder combs. I then hold it back a little with my left hand and with my right hand I turn the crank so that the wool is slowly pulled in and combed. It then moves onto the big cylinder as a fleece. With a knitting needle I remove the fleece from the carding machine by pushing it sideways through the bristles and by lifting it upwards.

Wolle kardieren
Wolle spinnen



Material: spinning wheel, hand spindle

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