How is wool processed?

It occurred to me while I was rolling a ball of yarn – is wool “clean?” Could it possibly be contaminated by salmonella or other gross things? I, um, have obsessive-compulsive disorder (not the funny “I’m so OCD!” kind, but the actual disorder), so my mind tends to run away with these things. Anyway, I felt like my lovely new Palette wool from Knit Picks (I bought the ornament kit and was so excited to start working on an ornament) was “dirty” in some way. :confused:

Any thoughts?

I don’t know how wool yarn is made, but I thought some of you might know about the process.

Sorry about being weird. :hiding:

Not to skeeve you out or anything but wool is pretty dirty at the start of the process. Sheep are not all that clean and the stuff that comes off of them is really pretty filthy.

But don’t despair! First the raw wool goes through a process called “skirting” where all the really bad stuff gets pulled out and discarded before washing.

Then the wool is washed and rinsed and dried in detergent and hot water before being carded (combing the wool and getting all the fibers going in one direction for spinning.)

By the time the wool is washed and carded and ready to be spun and dyed, it’s very clean.

If I’m not mistaken, the dyeing process also involves heat so I can’t imagine that there’s any little buggers left on the end product that KP delivers to your door.

I wouldn’t worry about your ornament kit. Enjoy your knitting.

That sounds very clean indeed. The words “detergent” and “heat” are very comforting. LOL.

Thank you. :cheering:

Having taken up spinning this summer I can second what zkimom said. The wool gets immersed in hot soapy water at several stages along the way to becoming yarn.
I just this past weekend kettle dyed enough hand spun yarn to make a cardigan and it spent 30 minutes simmering away and then sat in the hot water until it cooled to room temp. before I pulled it out and rinsed it.