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Spinning Frequently Asked Questions

Q I have been working with raw fleece but seem to have developed an allergy, possibly to the lanolin. What can I do?

A I'm sorry to hear that you've developed this problem. A true allergy is said to be a reaction to substances within the lanolin, which is specific to sheep. You may be fine with well-scoured fleece (you could use a dressing mixture if you have preferred spinning 'in the grease') or if not, may still be fine with non-sheep fibres such as alpaca, mohair (from a goat), silk, camel, cashmere.

Failing that, 'vegetable' fibres are available such as cotton, tencel, bamboo, ramie, nylon, which I'm sure will be fine. Lion Brand now sell acrylic roving for spinning.

For inspiration, Alison Daykin and Jane Deane's book, Creative Spinning, contains a beautiful selection of yarns made from a range of animal and vegetable fibres.

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