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Scouring

9 February 2019

After we purchase the wool from the Ranchers, it must be cleaned.    Raw wool, also known as greasy wool in the trade, contains significant amounts of dirt and vegetable matter and, more importantly, lanolin.

Preparing the wool to be spun into yarn is a critical step in our manufacture and Ladd Hughes, manager of the Bollman Scouring Plant in San Angelo, Texas, gets it done for us just the way we need.   Our wool is very specialized, expensive stuff, and we cannot have contamination from other lots of fiber.    So, Ladd scours our wool first thing on Monday morning, after the line has been thoroughly cleaned over the weekend, and before any other wool is processed.   This timing ensures that no contaminating inferior fiber is present on the scouring line when our wool is cleaned.   Thanks Ladd and Bollman!

Incidentally, the Bollman Family has an honored name in American business, going back to the Bollman Hat Company, founded in 1858 and still making hats.   The folks running Bollman Hat Company also founded American Made Matters.

 WeatherWool makes its own Fabric, starting with raw wool from select ranches. Scouring (cleaning) the raw wool is the first step in the creation of our Fabric.
The warehouse was mostly empty when I visited in January, 2014.
 
 
 WeatherWool makes its own Fabric, starting with raw wool from select ranches. Scouring (cleaning) the raw wool is the first step in the creation of our Fabric.
Bollman uses forklifts that are specially equipped to handle bales of wool.
The bales typically weigh several hundred pounds each.
 
 WeatherWool makes its own Fabric, starting with raw wool from select ranches. Scouring (cleaning) the raw wool is the first step in the creation of our Fabric.
The bales are compressed quite tightly for shipping, and Bollman personnel loosen up the wool prior to processing.
 
 WeatherWool makes its own Fabric, starting with raw wool from select ranches. Scouring (cleaning) the raw wool is the first step in the creation of our Fabric.
Here is a loosened-up bale headed into the scouring line,
where it will be cleaned of debris and about 98% of the natural lanolin (oil).
 
 WeatherWool makes its own Fabric, starting with raw wool from select ranches. Scouring (cleaning) the raw wool is the first step in the creation of our Fabric.
 
In the background is part of the very elaborate scouring line at Bollman.