The second step is to immerse the fleece in hot, soapy water. Sheep fleece contains lanolin, a grease that helps the sheep shed water and keep warm and dry. Other fibre animals, like goats, alpaca, llamas, and rabbits may not produce lanolin in their coats, but they will still produce body oils that get into the fleece. So, washing in hot soapy water removes most of these oily residues, along with other dirt and debris. The key is to just let the fleece sit in the soapy water, without agitating, before pulling it out to sit in hot, clean rinse water. Any agitation during this process will likely produce a felted mess.