Hobby Farms Editors
February 18, 2009

Angora fiber goat - learn how to wash its fiber
Angora Goat- great fiber goat!

Fiber Washing Tips

1)
 Using mesh bags can help to reduce the amount of handling a fleece endures, but they can also make it hard to get the fleece adequately clean.

2) The more water that can move around the fibers, the more dirt and grease can be removed from the fleece.

3) You’ll get better results if you wash small batches of four to five pounds at a time rather than large batches.

Fiber Goat Breeds
Review our goat breed associations and goat breed profiles to learn more about goats that can give you fiber.

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All fiber must be washed before it can be processed. Below are the equipment needs and steps to wash your goat’s fiber.

Equipment:

  • Washing machine or deep sink
  • Soap
  • Net Laundry Bag (if desired)

Basic Steps:

  1. Fill your washer or deep sink with hot water (approximately 160 degrees F).

  2. Gently submerge the mohair in the water and let soak for 30 minutes. Do not agitate the fiber. This will ruin the fiber, causing it to become felt.
  3. Drain the water from your washer. Using only the spin cycle, spin the water from the fiber. If you’re using a deep sink, lift the fiber from the water and squeeze out the excess. Do not wring out the fleece or it will turn to felt. Place the fleece in a separate tub while the water drains from the sink.
  4. Refill your washer or sink again with hot (around 160 degrees F) water and add 1/4 cup detergent, such as Dawn or another mild detergent, per pound of fiber, agitate the soap and then gently submerge the mohair in the water and let soak for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how dirty the fleece is.

    Don’t allow the water to cool too much. If the water becomes too cold, the grease in the fiber will create a thick scum that will redeposit on the fiber and is quite difficult to remove.

  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 using 1/4 cup detergent and hot water, until the fiber looks clean.
  6. Rinse the fiber in hot water in the same way you washed it. A couple rinses may be necessary—rinse until the water runs clear. You may wish to put a small amount of white vinegar or hair conditioner in the final rinse to give back the fleece’s luster.
  7. Dry the fiber on racks or screens out of the direct sun or in a warm room.

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Excerpted from “Get Your Fiber” by Ellie Winslow. Read the full article in Popular Farming Series: Goats, a publication with in-depth information for those who own or would like to own goats. Buy one online or call (800) PET-BOOK (738-2665).


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