I love wool...

In the mid 80's I taught myself to do porcelain baby/children dolls.  It was fun at first, but then became boring as these reproduction dolls were cast from molds by others and you glued on a wig.  I really wanted a doll with more character.  In 1991 I purchased the annual edition of Santa Claus magazine by Better Homes and Gardens and was *smitten* with the old guy and his beautiful wooly locks!  Thus my doll making journey began and my quest for my own style.  I have since switched from porcelain to cloth dolls and what a wonderful adventure it has been...with still more to come if the good Lord is willing.....

Here's how I clean Wool: From the tip end, pull your ringlets apart and get as much vegetable matter out of each strand as possible. Have the end tips all going in one direction and put them in a small open mesh bag (one like fruit come in from the grocery) I only do one batch at a time so it will fit into one of those plastic shoe boxes. Lay your bagged wool in the shoe box and fill the box with HOT almost boiling water. The hot water will break down the lanolin that is in the wool. Let sit for 20 minutes. DO NOT SWISH IT AROUND OR YOU WILL HAVE FELT! After 20 minutes put another plastic shoe box on top of the wool and pour the water out, pressing with the second shoe box to get the water out. Add HOT water again, then a few drops of Dawn Dishwashing liquid. Let sit for another 20 minutes and press the water out the same way. If you wool does not look clean, repeat this process with the Dawn until it looks clean. (If will look darker while it is wet but will dry much lighter) Once your wool is clean, add HOT water, no soap to rinse. Let sit about 10 minutes and press the water out. You can add two or three drops of fabric softener to your last rinse. Press the water out, take out of bag, put on a towel and press the water out with the towel. Seperate the strands and let them dry on the towel or paper towel. Mohair is much easier to wash as you can swish it around with your hand instead of putting it in a mesh bag. You do not have to worry about mohair felting while you clean it.

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