Making Superwash

Is there a way to make your own superwash wool? With raw, roving, or yarn? It is my understanding that it either goes through an acid bath or has a coating put on it. I would love to be able to do this myself.

I’ve worked with a lot of raw fleece over the years & l’ve never heard of a way to make super wash.

Then again, I’ve not investigated how to do it either.

I don’t think it’s that practical to make superwash at home but of the two methods, it might be possible to chemically strip the scales off of wool at home. I do recall about a year ago, someone on one of the spinning lists complained that she just couldn’t get the wool from a certain fleece to felt, even though the others did, and speculated that since she used washing soda and left that one in for a teeny bit longer, that the scouring bath might have stripped off the scales of the wool.

I also know that bleached wool oftentimes felts slower and sometimes doesn’t felt at all because during the bleaching process, the scales were to some extent, dissolved off.

So it would seem that an alkaline bath would probably help protect the wool from felting, but I can’t say how alkaline, or how long to leave it in. The alkaline solution would also probably leave the wool with a really harsh feel to it.

Thanks to both of you for your responses! Personally, I don’t care for superwash, but spin for friends that do. It would also be nice to spin my own SW sock yarn, though.
Might have to do some experimenting! Thanks again!

Peg, some fleece doesn’t felt as easily as others. I’ve spun SW yarn from Jacob that was soft enough for next to skin, durable enough to be socks and it did not shrink when machine washed.

A Dorset X Hampshire fleece I got from Winter’s Past Farm made another great sock yarn.

Here is some superwash fiber. Not 100% wool, but ought to work for socks and such. I’ve not used this, but I have ordered roving from this company and was very satisfied with the service and the roving.