Posted in Breed samples Spinning

Drying Fleece

November 11, 2013 - 2:39 pm

I’ve been washing a lot of fleece lately.  A LOT of fleece. I’m helping Deb Robson with materials for her workshops, and so have been acquiring and washing fleeces for her.  Plus *ahem* a few for myself that I’ve picked up as well.  I think I’ve washed about 15 fleeces in the past two months. I lost count. And I’m well above 20 for the year.

To keep up with the washing I needed to build a second drying rack. I’ve been planning to write about this since my fleece washing article back in March, but, well, blogging. This is the finished rack: 

 2013-10-03 16.39.04

If you’d like to follow along at home you will need (pictures below link to Amazon so you can buy these online if you’d like):

  • A wire mesh shelf you don’t mind destroying:
  • 4 48″ shelf bracket strips:
  • A bunch of zip ties that will fit through the slots on the shelf
  • wire cutters or scissors to trim the ties

First step is to decide how many shelves you will want, and do maths to determine how closely to space your zip ties. In my version I’m building 10 shelves, and leaving two grid squares to stabilize the rack. The top shelf goes at the top of the bracket strips, but the bottom one should have clearance from the ground to allow for air circulation. This means I inserted zip ties every 10 slots to space the shelves evenly: 

2013-10-03 16.07.54

I inserted them in one bracket and then used that as a visual guide (I hate counting!) to make 4 the same:

2013-10-03 16.17.17

Then I took two of the bracket strips and attached them to the top shelf:

2013-10-03 16.26.03

Continued attaching shelves all the way down:

2013-10-03 16.26.12

And finally attached the two other bracket strips on the other side of the shelves:

2013-10-03 16.34.49

You will notice this can fold almost flat. And the poodle puppy has decided I need help.

In the picture above I’ve already slid two of the bracket strips around so that there’s one strip on each side of the grid square. Comment if this is confusing and I’ll draw up a diagram or take better pictures. :-)

At any rate, there’s no way this will work without more stabilization.  That’s where the last two shelves come in. Attach them on adjacent sides at the bottom, zip tying all four corners around brackets and through shelves:

2013-10-03 16.38.28

Now you can stand it up and have a drying rack!

2013-10-03 16.39.01

The last step is to use the pliers to tighten the zip ties, and then cut off the excess tie. I didn’t take a picture, but I’m betting you can figure that part out on your own. Careful not to leave sharp bits, though, as you can snag your hands and/or the fleece bags on them.

These racks work great outdoors on a breezy sunny day, but just as well stood by a heating vent in the winter, perhaps with a fan blowing on them as well. With the vent and a fan I can dry a fleece in a day. 

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Deborah Robson

November 11, 2013 2:39 pm

I love the racks, and I am *so grateful* for the help with fleeces! I’m washing, too. Lots of fleeces. I’ve lost track. But I love the wools, so even though it’s a lot of work (fleece after fleece), it’s a constant joy. I’ve added to my drying rack collection, too, this year. I used to have a four-stack. Then I went to eight. Now I’m at twelve. I use collapsible sweater-drying racks. I love your set-up, too. . . .

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