Fleece sweaters - from the sheep's back to yours
What is Fleece?
The term "fleece" is generally used to describe synthetic or cotton fabrics with a soft, deep pile. Whereas the genuine fleece is made from sheep's wool. Farmers who breed sheep for their fleece take great care in managing their sheep's health, hygiene, nutrition and environment to produce the highest-quality fleece. To harvest the fleece, the sheep are typically shorn once or twice a year. This involves cutting or clipping the wool from the sheep. This is a painless procedure that does not harm the sheep. Once removed from the sheep, the fleece can be spun into clothing may be after dying or any other color treatment.
Fleece Sweaters importance
Some sheep produce a "double- coated" fleece which is a combination of two very different grades of wool. And nearly every fleece varies in quality and fineness from area to area within any one fleece.
Wool is grown only by the ovine species, known to most of us as sheep. Fur or down products from other animals, such as mohair or cashmere, are really types of hair fibers.
Fleece sweaters are a warm and stylish addition to any wardrobe. Fleece sweaters come in a wide assortment of styles and colors to fit a variety of moods and occasions.
Benefits of Fleece Sweaters
- In cool weather, fleece is the king. From a ski weekend to an afternoon of sledding with the kids, a fleece sweater fits the bill. Select a pullover or zip-front fleece sweater, with or without a hood. Pair it up with ski pants or jeans, boots, a knit hat, gloves, and a scarf for a warm and fashionable winter look. Some fleece sweaters feature pockets and pouches designed to hold goggles and other outdoor gear. Choose a style that fits your taste, needs, and budget and hit the slopes.
- Whether you're going for a walk in the park or relaxing by the fireplace, a fleece sweater will provide soft, warm comfort. Pair up a colorful fleece cardigan with a long corduroy skirt or slacks, or a fleece vest with wool trousers or jeans. Add a chunky, casual necklace for a picture-perfect look.
- Today, you can find soft, light-weight fleece sweaters that can be dressed up for special occasions, like dinner at a favorite restaurant or a night on the town. Pair up a v-neck or crew-neck fleece sweater with a long knit skirt or a leather mini. Add some dressy shoes or boots, and you're ready to party hard.
Choosing a washing agent for fleece made products
The general rule of thumb here is that any good detergent will work well. For many years, soap was the agent of choice, simply because detergents hadn’t been developed yet. But soap is highly alkaline, and the alkali in soap opens up the scales on wool fibers, aiding in the felting process. Detergent, on the other hand, is not as alkaline and contains a cleaning agent known as a surfactant, which means that it makes water wetter, breaks down the grease particles of lanolin and thereby aids in getting rid of dirt.
Tips for Drying the fleece sweaters
- Your fiber can be dried many ways; the important thing is to not spread it too thickly, to check it occasionally, and turn it if needed.
- Some folks have made screens that are three feet square and fit in a drying rack, so that the fiber lies on shelves about 6 inches apart.
- Others put the fiber on sweater dryers.
- Some individuals prefer to dry their fiber outdoors on nice days; if you do this, you may want to cover the fiber with a thin netting to keep it from blowing away should a wind come up.
- Whatever method you choose, be sure the fiber is dry before storing it in anticipation of the exciting job of spinning.
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