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Wool uses?

 
brett watson
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Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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What ideas do you all have for sheep wool and even llama hair. Most of the birds took the llama hair for nests but I have some left.
I am not and will not be a spinner, so I am looking for ideas outside of textiles.

Thanks in advance.
 
John Polk
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Insulation for a chicken coop?
 
T. Joy
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Oh man, send it to me! I'd like to make a mattress out of wool some day...

There is a thread on here about felting, I posted a link in it to some beautiful bowls. If you're looking for a craft to make with it there is a ton of info online. If it's for a practical purpose I guess it gets used for insulation by some.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I have used it for mulch and compost ingredients. 
 
Paula Edwards
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If you can shear it properly you can sell the stuff and get good money. Mulching a good fleece is really waste. If you don't want to spin you still could learn to felt. You could insulate your house. And you could stuff it into blankets etc.
You can even knit wool without spinning it before, though I've never done this.
 
              
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Wool makes a great organic insulation in place of fibreglass, fill your wall and roof cavities with it.

Also used a lot in comforter filling. Can be heavy though compared to goose down but is warm.


Cheers,
PeterD
 
Tyler Ludens
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ediblecities wrote:
If you can shear it properly you can sell the stuff and get good money.


I try to give it away, not much interest.

 
brett watson
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Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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Gave it to a friend last year who used it as insulation for his bee shed. I'll probably bag it up and save it for that.

Thanks all!
 
Savannah Thomerson
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Location: zone 6
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Really you try to give it away with no luck? Amazing. I am paying $60 for a bag of alpaca wool here. I'm learning now how to take wool straight from the animal and turn it into clothing....this includes dyeing/handspinning on a drop spindle/knitting/felting and so on. It's such a valuable skill. (and teaches patience, ha!)

But yes, aside from fiber arts/textiles, I've heard of it being used as insulation in cob houses, chicken coops, and in general.

 
John Polk
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Depending on how much you have, try putting it on Craig's List.
Maybe try the "Arts & Crafts" section.
 
              
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I have 3 large bags of Alpaca wool on offer free locally by someone in my area.

It a supply/demand issue I guess. If people have lots of others lined up willing to pay then they get a sell mind set. If no buyers and lots of supply then I guess people have a mind set of give away to soe one needy of it.

Cheers,
PeterD
 
John Polk
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I guess that's how it goes.  When you need an item, they are going for $100 each.  When you have one to get rid of, nobody wants to haul it off!

 
                    
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Location: Central Croatia
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I have a similar situation in Croatia.  No-one who keeps sheep uses the wool for anything.  They burn it or pile it in the forest.  The problem is that the wool is full of dirt and cleaning it takes a long time apparently. 

I can get as much as I want for free as it is a problem for most farmers to dispose of.  That seems crazy to me, so I'd like to find a use for dirty wool.  I'm going to try mulching in the garden and I like the idea of using it in cob building.  Does anyone know how to clean wool easily?

They also throw away the entire sheep skin when they kill an animal.  Could I use this?  Cure it somehow and make sheep skin carpets?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Washing wool is kind of a pain, especially if it is very dirty and greasy. 

The instructions I've followed for washing by hand:  http://www.hjsstudio.com/wash.html
 
Paula Edwards
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You really have to contact hand spinners. Why shouldn't you wash it in a bag in the machine? You might find someone who can prepare the wool for you. You  could make a business with all this leftover wool. The problem is that factories want a special kind of fleece which fits with their spinning machines and hand spinners want something else.
Wool used for insulation is somehow treated if not you get moths in. There are businesses who sell wool insulation bats for houses. You could fill doonas with wool too. Or even quilt warm clothes or make quilts etc.
 
                      
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Location: MONTANA, Bozeman area; ZONE 4
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How to Wash Wool Fleece in the Washing Machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qXBUeAwvO8


See the other links on the side.  There are lots of ways.


 
                              
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I would use it to insulate your roof.

Not only does it have better R values than compressed strawbale, but it is also much much lighter, so you don't have to worry about overloading your roof structure. Also, I don't see why you would need to clean it at all for this application.
 
Christina Darling
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Location: East-Central Illinois
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Riki wrote:
They also throw away the entire sheep skin when they kill an animal.  Could I use this?  Cure it somehow and make sheep skin carpets?


Wow, if it the skin has wool on it you could make some great rugs! Sheep skin and goat skin Flokkti go for hundreds of dollars.

The wool is also full of lanolin and is somewhat waterproof. Sounds like a great windfall to me!
 
Kate Nudd
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Mix in some boron ( as is done with sawdust for cordwood insulation to act as a fire retardant and to control bugs) and place in heavy duty garbage bags ( to control smell and act as a sort of vapour barrier) and use as ceiling insulation.
 
Sam White
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Location: Caerphilly, Wales, UK
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A lot of sheep farmers in the UK have the same issue... Sheering a sheep and simply selling the raw wool tends to leave the farmers with a financial loss. I have read, however, about various people starting businesses where they buy/acquire this wool and start processing it to add value.

One business I read about was started by a homesteader somewhere in the UK and she was making allergy-free luxury duvets using the wool she got hold of. They were selling in Harrods in London so I expect she's doing fairly well out of it. The story was actually featured in Permaculture Magazine; I'll try and find the article and provide more details.
 
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