Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Lanolin Experiment

May 8th
Right now as I'm writing this I'm 80% sure I've messed this up. . .

Sigh, let me start from the beginning. I have a ton of fleece with a ton of lanolin in it. So much so that it looks a bit orange on the under side!

I want to extract the lanolin from the wool without damaging it. They used to boil the wool for hours but I don't want to do that and ruin the wool. I did see a wool washing video from Bluemtnhandcrafts  where they were able to use their hottest tap water to wash the lanolin out. Which brings me to my fail. . . 

I used our hottest tap water and a little just under boiling in each pot. I did not take the temperature, I definitely will next time.

I started with my lock-ier, already rinsed fleeces and added them to the pots. I then let them soak for 30-40 minutes. Then I gently squeezed the water out and placed the wool into a couple pop up laundry baskets to dry.

Now I believe I failed because I can see actual bits of solidified lanolin in a few of the locks. Not a ton and mostly in the ones from the popcorn tin. This may be because it lost it's heat faster. I will know for sure tomorrow morning. I have all 3 pots sitting outside for now, hopefully it will cool down enough tonight for the lanolin to rise to the top. 

May 9th
Ok, it's the next morning, I'm not entirely dissapointed and I have a plan! While there is not a solid layer of lanolin at the top of my pots I do think it's there. When I dip my fingers in, they come back sticky. 

My plan is to:
  • Reuse the same water
  • Heat it to just under boiling
  • Add the locky wool I can visibly see lanolin in and let it sit for 30-45 minutes
  • Gently squeeze out the excess water (while trying not to burn myself) and
  • Let the locks dry, at least mostly, so that I can see if they need washed. 

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