I am trying a method that is more environmentally friendly, to cut down on energy and water. I filled a plastic box with rainwater from the butt (up here in Scotland, we are not short of water!) and then soaked the Portland fleece in the water. I then left the box out in the sun (I use the word loosely, as we are having a terrible summer, but hopefully even a little goes a long way). I must admit, that I wanted to get the next fleece in the dirty water, before removing the first one, and it took a long time to come, so the first fleece was left in there a little too long. How do I know this? Not from the smell, which I expected to be bad, but because I think it may have been going a little moldy - there were green colours going on in the water. This was after direct and very warm sun one day, which is what has lead me to that conclusion. But all in all, the Portland was in the water for about 2 weeks. This is the resultant water
Now, this water is full of dirt eating bacteria, from what I understand, so should clean sheep's fleece more quickly than the 2 weeks I left the first one in there. The next to go in this water was 1kg of texel.
And this is the Portland after the "dirty" wash, before rinsing (which is another box of rainwater).
The experiment continues, but so far so good. And if you were wondering, the fleece is destined for a peg loom rug/throw/cover. Can't wait for it to be ready to have a go!