Total Pageviews

Sunday, 11 August 2013

F.S.M. (Foul Stinky Mixture)

Well actually, it stands for Fermented Suint Method, but I think mine's more accurate!

This is the offending article - I put it down in our subterranean greenhouse (well, the storage half of it) so it would be well away from the house.

For those non-witches amongst us, I'll tell you a little bit about why I started this noxious brew, and what I hope it will achieve.  If you have lots of sheep fleeces to wash it can be a bit of a lengthy process.  I've normally washed about 200g at a time - soaked, washed, rinsed, rinsed again - after two or three batches I've had enough.

With this system, you use a largish container (with a lid - most important!!!!  It doesn't have to be a tight-fitting lid, just enough to keep the smell in), fill it with rainwater, dunk in a whole fleece, the dirtier, smellier, greasier the better, and let it stew for between 5 and 7 days.

I put two Ouessant fleeces (these are miniature sheep and only grow to about 50cm high so the fleeces tend to be small) in zipped laundry bags, pressed them down so they were totally submerged, replaced the lid and beat a hasty retreat.  I checked the tub each day and the smell got noticeably worse after the second or third day.

So, after 5-7 days, your fleece should have worked its magic and be ready to remove. This is the nasty part because you have to be in close proximity with the highly reeking solution while you pull out your laundry bag(s).  It's important to let the liquid drain back into the tub so you don't lose too much.  After that you can take your fleece and rinse it in cold water.  I only needed to do 3 rinses before laying it out to dry in the sun.

I was surprised how clean the white bits had become considering I'd used no soap.

When I rinsed the Ouessant fleeces I was quite amazed that the water became a bit foamy, just as though I'd put soap in there.  Apparently the suint (sheep sweat!) makes a type of soap to clean future fleeces.

Right, so what do you do with the remaining liquid?  You put in another fleece (yes, really!) that you want to clean.  This time it will only need to be submerged for two or three days and you will then have another sparklingly clean fleece.  At least, that's the theory, I haven't got that far yet.  I've just put half of my new, precious, Maco Merinos fleece in there and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  I would be really upset if I messed this one up, especially as they seem to have sold out for this year!

You can keep this mix going indefinitely, but I'll probably get rid of it after I've done all my fleeces and any that Tammy wants to clean.  So, what will I do with this?  I'll water it down and use it on the garden - the plants will love it.

No comments:

Post a Comment