We can provide you with the following services:
SKIRTING: We strongly recommend that you skirt your fiber before you send it to us, after all, why pay to ship material that will be thrown away? Bear in mind that any matter that is in your fleece may still end up in your roving, batting, or yarn. However, if you wish it we can skirt your fleece for you. Please be aware that fiber with excessive amounts of VM (vegetable matter) or other contaminants will be refused and may be returned at the owner's expense.
SCOURING: We wash your fiber in a 150-185 degree bath (depending on the fiber type) with environmentally friendly biodegradable soaps and rinse it thoroughly. This primarily removes grease, oils and dirt. Elements such as vegetable matter, or worse, bits of poly bailing twine will still reside in the fiber. The fiber is then spun out and dried. Very greasy or very dirty fleeces, as well as some very fine wools and some exotic fibers may need additional scouring. After rinsing we dry the fiber on racks. Be aware that an average of 30 percent and up to 50 percent of the starting weight can be lost in processing.
PICKING: The dried fiber is run through the picker which separates and opens the tangled locks. We also blend some fibers at this stage.
CARDING: After picking, the fiber is fed into our carding machine. Here is where most of the vegetable matter, second cuts and other contaminants are removed. As the fiber runs though the carding machine locks are completely separated and the individual fibers are aligned creating a neat and orderly batt or roving. We can also blend as the fiber enters the carding machine. Occasionally a particular batch will benefit from two passes through the carding machine. Our carding machine is engineered to retain as much fiber as possible; however there is always some loss of fiber in the carding process.
Batt dimensions: 24" x 48" and we typically make them approximately 1 pound which, depending on the fiber is about 3 to 4 inches thick.
PINDRAFTING: As the next step on the path the spinning frame our pin drafter further aligns the fibers and attenuates the roving. The pin drafter can also be used as a final step in preparing roving for hand spinning. Some fibers are blended on the pin drafter, such as silk, and synthetics. This requires many passes through the pindrafter to achieve an even blend.
SPINNING: Here we spin your carefully prepared fiber into a yarn. Our spinning frame functions best with fiber between 3 and 7 inches. It is important to consider what yarn is appropriate for a given fiber and we can assist with these decisions once we have examined the fiber. Finished skeins are steamed and twisted, or yarn can be wound onto cones. Coned yarn is not steamed.
CONE WINDER/ SKEIN WINDER: Yarn comes off the twister and is wound into skeins or cones. If you want a specific skein length, please specify on the order form. If nothing is noted we will skein at 250 yards. Skeines are generally steamed unless you specifiy otherwise. Cones are wound up to 1 1/2 lbs.
SKEIN WASHING: If you wish we can wash your finished skeins.