Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beastly Barnyard Smell

*from rabbitgeek notes 1/4/09*

Beastly Barnyard alpaca yarn smell

Okay, I had a pound of alpaca that I was spinning and the first skein revealed a beastly, barnyard smell when I washed it the first time. I asked on some fiber groups for help and many good replies came.

It seems alpacas like to roll in the dust, so that has to be dealt with.

I wound up washing it all in lavender shampoo, but I have heard Dawn dish washing liquid is very good. I did not agitate the fiber, don't want it to felt, but carefully added water for keeping it hot and for rinsing.

Using a mesh bag with a zipper of the kind for washing delicates was very helpful for handling.

Repost from May 31 2006
Okay, here is an update on the beastly skein of alpaca.

First of all, thank you for all your prompt responses.

I bought a bottle of Avalon Organic Lavender shampoo for two dollars at the discount store. The shampoo had a strong lavender smell at the store when I opened it, so I bought it.

I put some hot water in a bucket, enough to cover the skein. I added the shampoo. I put the skein into the water. I put the bucket outside on the patio. I warmed the water again by adding a pot of almost boiling water to the bucket. 20 minutes later I added another pot of hot water.

I soaked like this for about an hour. I poured out the wash water and rinsed it many times with lukewarm water. A lot of muddy water came and went.

As I hung up the skein to dry, I noticed the smell was mostly gone. Now it is damp and the smell is barely there. I hope this helps.

added 1/24/10
The next batch of alpaca I washed before spinning. I was told previously I did not need to wash it, so I did not.

I'm just surprised that I did not notice the smell spinning the alpaca fiber when it was dry.

And I'm glad I am not in the habit of licking my fingers when I spin. I was told to never lick my fingers when spinning because of livestock sanitation issues.

Always wash your hands afterward.

Have a good day!