Adventures in Lanolin

One question I get quite a bit when talking with folks about processing raw fleece is “do you do anything with the lanolin?”

And the answer has always been no. Because washing the wool has always been a bit of the process that I’ve always been happy to try and get through as quickly as possible. Never really felt like retaining the wash water for further use.

But roses really love fleece tea. So when I decided to wash up the last third of Cali’s fleece (rather than continue to spin it in the grease), I thought I’d save the leftovers for a couple bushes that could use a boost. Of course, the water needs to cool off before you let the roses imbibe, so I poured it off into a bucket to sit overnight.

And the next morning, it looked like this

That off-white stuff floating on the top of the fleece tea is lanolin. There isn’t a whole lot of it in this batch, as Cali’s fleece was a fairly low-grease, and this was maybe just a third of of the whole thing.

But when I saw it floating there, I thought- maybe I should skim it off and see if I can do something with it.

So here we are, skimmed

Don’t know what the next step is yet, but there has to be some info out there in the big wide interwebs about refining lanolin at home, right? Will keep you posted 😉


    • denisemor

      yeah, we’re pretty lucky in that regard. we generally don’t have deer browsing around the garden. the sheep tell me that roses are quite tasty, so it’s not surprising that they are a prime target.


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