We do custom small batch processing of your fiber to maintain individual fleece's unique color and texture. We are a full service mill specializing in alpaca fiber and provide custom processing of alpaca and other natural fibers into roving, batts, yarn, felt and more.
The steps in this process include:
Washing – All incoming fleece is washed. Washing the fleece is vitally important and is the only way to insure consistent quality in the final product. The fleece is then air dried on drying racks.
Picking, or opening the fiber – All fiber goes through the picker which opens the individual locks of fiber, and is blown into the adjacent room. Blending with other fibers often begins at this stage.
Carding – The carder aligns individual strands of fiber, allowing the production of roving or batts. Rovings can be further processed into yarn, wound into center pull bumps of roving, or bagged as loose roving. Batts can be used in this form, or further processed into felt.
Drawframe – Rovings pass through the drawframe two or more times to blend and lengthen. Each successive pass through the drawframe creates a more uniform roving.
Spinning and Plying – To be spun, fiber must be a minimum of 3", due to the physical limitations of the spinner. Single strands of spun fiber are created on the spinner. These “singles” can be of varying thickness, to form fingering weight, sport weight, worsted weight or bulky yarn. The singles from the spinner are then plied together to form 2, 3 or 4 ply yarn. We also have the ability to spin corespun rug yarn.
Finishing – Finished yarn is measured out in skeins. Standard skeins are 150 yards, but may be of any length based on the customer's preference. Felt making – needle felted sheets
Corespun Yarn- Great for rug yarn! This is spun on a cotton core.
Fleece preparation begins with skirting (which is the removal of any undesirable parts)and is essential for producing high quality products. It also maximizes your fiber processing investment dollars. Be ruthless in fiber skirting so that you have the very highest quality products from your raw fleece. Any second cuts left after shearing should be removed as you skirt your fleeces. Belly, neck and hind (britch) fiber should also be removed. These heavily soiled fibers will not process well in the milling machinery. Foreign material in fleeces reduces their value. Examples are heavy tags (manure and sweat locks), seeds, thistles, and burrs. Removal of these items is required before sending for processing. Please discard all of the wool containing any of the above mentioned examples. Excess water (the result of shearing damp or wet animals) not only reduces yield but may permanently damage the wool from mold or mildew. Staple length (individual fibers) is very important as well. Processing to yarn requires a minimum staple length of 3". A percentage of 2-3" fiber can be tolerated for other kinds of processing. Shorter fibers should be skirted out. The more consistent the staple length, the more consistent the end product.
Service Agreement and order form must accompany ALL orders.