Maintaining Lock Formation

I’ve tried a few different techniques to maintain my lock formation when washing fleece.

Since most of my fiber is initially washed by first soaking it in a Fermented Suint bath. I often sort my fiber first. Sometimes I tray it:

wool locks, sorted in trays

These trays can easily be stacked, helping to keep the fibers stable.  Garden trays from the nursery will work in a similar manner.


For good measure I put the whole lot into a large laundry bag.

trays in laundry bag

Then immerse the whole thing into my FSM.

fiber in suint soak

Sometimes you have to weight it down, but it’s better to let it breath and not compact it, so having more liquid or less fiber is best.

weighted trays

Another way to maintain lock formation is making little tulle bags:

net bags

This allows for more flow of the liquid around the fibers.  I often use the orange bags you can buy bulk oranges in, they work great, and they stand up to heat. The net bags above are bath scrubbies opened up and tied at two ends. These bags are nylon and won’t hold up well to hot water, but are fine for a cold water or suint soak. Tulle works better as you can take it out of the cold water soak and it’s all ready to go into a hot water/detergent wash. You can make a tulle sandwich like this one:

Tulle Sandwich

by laying out your locks on some tulle yardage, lay your locks out on one half of your yardage, then the other half over the top of  your locks making a sandwich. I then use a large basting stitch between the layers.  This is my first Shetland fleece hanging on the line to dry. I used this more time consuming method because I was prepping the locks by flicking the ends and spinning direct from the locks. This method also is great for bathtub scours as well.


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