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April 24, 2019 2 min read

In this episode we’ll unpack the nuance of one of the greatest barriers to sustainability of small batch yarn, wool scouring. We’ll share the 4 essential requirements for scouring, discuss fermented suint, reveal 3 types of scouring baths we use at our mill and also pro-tips on how to tell whether you’ve washed your wool effectively.

How do we put these pieces together and modernize how farms and mills work together on the task of both choosing quality wool and skirting it and scouring it. That ... is the golden question.
— Lydia Christiansen

There's something really remarkable about connecting with any raw material, of any kind. It's a primal sense of satisfaction. It fills us with a sense of belonging. The bottom line is, this is our earth, these are our resources, they're here for us, they're here for us to struggle with and to learn from with all of our senses. This is our earth, and we belong here.
— Lydia Christiansen

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We Want To Hear From You

Got wool stories, questions, or requests?  Call the new Modern Wool Podcast line, 619-516-WOOL (9665), anytime day or night to share your comments, compliments (yes please!), curiosities or anything wool-related at all.

Highlights From This Episode

  • Lydia tells the story of her first time washing a fleece [2:36]
  • Four essential requirements for scouring wool [11:50]
    • Choosing a vessel [12:52]
    • Hot Water [15:08]
    • Soap & pH [19:30]
    • Extraction [24:55]
  • A few cautions for the home scouring setup [28:10]
  • Fermented Suint Method or Cold Wash [32:34]
  • Three type of scouring baths we use at the Abundant Earth Fiber Mill [37:15]
  • Picking as part of the scouring process [40:12]
  • Three tips to tell if you got all the grease out of your fleece [45:18]

Links Mentioned In This Episode

Show Host

Lydia Christiansen

Mother, teacher, entrepreneur, self-taught textile processor, designer, and artist. Her work is an expression of devotion to our shared reliance on the natural world. At the heart of it all is her belief that the earth gives abundantly so we can thrive.

4 Responses

Ellen Baize
Ellen Baize

April 09, 2023

Thank you so much for the podcast about scouring. As a shepherdess of Shetland sheep, I have enjoyed trying a number of methods of scouring and believe what you have shared will greatly enhance my own adventure in scouring.

lorna borg
lorna borg

April 09, 2023

Dear Lydia,

I hope this email finds you in good health. I am looking for help into setting up a wool mill – the end product needed is wool stuffing – potentially processing some 50 000kg annually. Would it be possible for me to call you and to discuss this.

Looking forward to your reply, I m looking for guidance.

Best wishes,


JC Christensen
JC Christensen

March 03, 2020

These podcasts are well done and very informative! Thanks for all your efforts in our stewarding of the fibery universe.

Denise Mor
Denise Mor

April 25, 2019

Hi Lydia- Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed the first few episodes of your podcast. Hearing about your experiences with different scouring methods was really interesting. Seems like the bath from the suint method might make a really great fertilizer/soil conditioner, at least for folks who are just doing it on a small scale.

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