Scouring: the process of removing grease and dirt from woollen fibres. In many Welsh mills the wool was processed ‘in the grease’ as this could result in a far closer weave. In these cases it was the finished product, be it blanket or a length of cloth, that had to scoured and dried; not the raw wool. The most common method was to immerse the raw wool in a solution consisting of one part human urine to three parts water. The practice of collecting urine in a cask from the homes of a textile producing district was commonplace for not only was it used for scouring, but also in fulling and dyeing.

– J. Geraint Jenkins – From Fleece to Fabric, The Technological History of the Welsh Woollen Industry, Gomer Press 1981, Llandysul, Dyfed


Picture provided by and used with kind permission from Deborah Robson: Deborah is hand-scouring a small amount of Leicester Longwool fleece.

This entry was posted by tomofholland.

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