Carbonel (carbonel) wrote in handspinning,

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When it comes to fleece, how short is too short?

Remember the post I made some time ago looking for someone to clean fleece in exchange for a proportion of it? I didn't find anyone, but I did learn how to clean fleece myself in a five-gallon bucket, and the bag of clean wool is slowly getting fuller and the level of the first bag (of two) of skirted wool is slowly going down.

This is fleece that came from lambs intended for dinner, rather than raised for fleece; and possibly as a result, the fleece is on the short side. At the longest, it's around 2 inches when stretched out. There are also a fair number of second cuts, which I'm attempting to cull as I go, but I think that will mostly happen when I card the fiber.

My real question is, is it worth it? I believe I can card and spin the fleece, even though it's on the short side, but will it turn into inferior wool otherwise? I'm not all that familiar with the various parameters of fleece, but other than the length it seems to be quite nice -- rather fine, with a bit of a crimp to it. Mostly white, with some gray, not that that has any bearing on the question at hand.

I realize this question will mostly be answered by my buckling down and doing some actual carding and spinning, but right now I'm still working on the half-a-fleece of Babydoll Southdown that I split with someone at Shepherd's Harvest. And in any case, I'd be interested in your feelings, if any, about fleece length and how it affects the spinning experience.

(Also, I'd really like to see more activity on this community, but I'm asking because I want to know, not just to stir up participation.)
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