The little fleece has been a disappointment. Some of it has dander. The fleece has enough gease that the dander doesn't show up for me to see until it is washed. Then, there they are, specks of white throughout the wool. How sad. Perhaps more experienced eyes could spot the offending sections while picking. Morro Fleece Works has this definition of dander on their site:
These items do not wash out at scouring so remain in the fiber through the processing. They act like sticky little pieces of gum and adhere to the card combs and the exit rollers on both machines.
Then the fibers stick to these exit rollers also which then causes wrapping.
So where the exit rollers should be extracting a nicely combed and formed
roving, it is actually un-combing the fibers and wrapping them around the rollers. Not all lice or skin flakes create this problem but it occurs
in at least half of the cases, with some worse than others.
The stickiness is the problem. Given that the fleece is a bit short, although very soft, I am not that in love with it. Not enough to want to hand card it and certainly not enough to send it through my carder and risk getting it gummy. Not all appears to be affected. Today, I'll wash another load before I make my mind up. It may be mulch.
Laurie and Kathy asked how I wash my fleece, how to make it smell sweetly. Good question. I don't like storing a stinky fleece, even in my garage. Although a plastic bag helps with the smell, I don't think it helps the wool. If you use the pastic bag method, make sure it stays in a coolish dark place. You don't want the sun warming the bag, causing condensation to build up inside. Instead, consider rapping it in an old sheet or pillowcase. That will bring you right back to the smell issue. It drives my cats crazy (as well as anyone using the garage) and I fear reprisals. Been there. I wash as soon as time and weather permit.
First thing, pick through and eliminate any um mm.. stuff you don't want. That includes short cuts, hay (VM) mud and poop. I like to use mesh laundry bags to control the fleece while in my washing machine. Stuff loosely, as many bags as you want to wash at once. I believe the bags save my machine from what I can only imagine would be a horrid death. Remember that washing doesn't take up much space. DRYING DOES! Only wash what you can dry in one batch. Fill up your machine with hot, hot water. When you finish the fill part (I use the low fill setting) then add the detergent. Do not add while filling. You've seen what can happen in the movies, the suds monster?? Ask around, most people who wash their own fleece will suggest using Dawn liquid dish soap, preferable the original. I always try to use it. In a pinch, I'll grab the Palmolive from under the kitchen sink. You'll have to use your judgment here. I can't tell you how much soap to use. More fleece, more water, more soap. Let it soak for a while, say 15 minutes or so. Then, SPIN ONLY! Get that yucky water out. Remove your net bags, refill you washer with the HOT water and repeat. I do the wash step 3 times. For the rinse, I do the same minus the soap. On one of the rinses, usually the second, I add a about a 1/4 cup of white vinegar to the rinse water. It helps to cut any soap left. Then a final rinse.
That's it! Spread it out to dry. It will smell much better, even sweet!