What is the staple length that you require for processing?. We actually prefer a staple length of 2 to 2 1/2 inches and longer.
Do you blend our fibers with other fibers that are not ours?. No we will only blend your fibers with fibers of your own if you ask us to do so. Your fibers are not blended with other customer's fibers, what you get back is of your own animals.
What do you do with fibers that you consider waste fibers?. Fibers that we process are all returned to the customer, unless its loaded with lice or fecal or urine material. Before we dispose of this fleece we contact you first and let you decide what you would like done with your fleece(s).
Do you have the big fiber equipment and if you don' t then how can you get things finished? We at this time do not have the large commercial equipment, this is something that we are in the works of getting. Getting things finished, we try to get things done in a quick fashion, for us being a smaller mill, Life happens to all of us and if that happens then we have to delay processing. We notifiy you if that happens.
What makes your fiber processing different than the bigger fiber mills?. Well first of all the bigger mills are awesome, each one of us has a purpose. The bigger mills have to blend your fibers with other customers fibers of the same color so that they have volume going into the machines. They have to do this, now there are some mills that do process smaller batches and will run only your fibers. We actually process only smaller batches of fibers and are your fibers. We do not blend your fibers with anyone elses, plus what you get back is of your own animals. Another thing that makes us different is that we can tell you everything about your fleece, reason for this is everything is done by hand. We can tell you how it washes up, how it cards, how is spins or felts. The bigger equipment can not, and that is a fact.
So what is the process at your mill.? Incoming fleece is weighed and charted. Then the fleece goes in a prescreen faze where we look your fleece over. (NOTE) If your fleece is buggy - loaded with VM ( vegetable matter ) Soiled with waste - Strawlike - Will not be processed... Not all fleeces are created equal and what you might think is awesome yarn material, it might not be that at all. Then your fleece is then placed aside per what is going to be done with that fleece. After the prescreen is finished then it is off to be processed.
This is the way our system works.
Carded into batts or rovings - Prescreen fleece - Sorted & Picked - Washed - Carded - Packaged for shipment.
Spinning services - Prescreen fleece - Sorted & Picked - Carded - Spun - Plied - Skeined - Washed - Packaged into shipment.
Do you let us know what is going on with our fleeces during processing?. Yes after the prescreen is finished we send you a .pdf invoice with all your incoming fleece information. During the process stages we send you up to date.pdf information on how each fleece is doing and what we found out during processing either, cards well, spins well etc. We also let you know how much you receive of each animal, like for example ( Shasta carded 11 batts, and 20 skeins of yarn).
So what is the best way for us to prepare our fleece for processing?. This is the most important step.
Before shear day, evaluate your animals and determine what you would like done with those fleeces. Shear day, tell your shearer what animals that you want processed, please remind your shearer to shear with the least amount of noils and make a even pass when shearing. Noils are the little pieces of fibers that end up in the fleece if your shearer does not shear in a good pass, and then leaves fibers that have to be sheared off again. Do not bag wet soiled manure fleece, this will cause mildew to spread like wildfire and will ruin your fleece. Do us a favor and throw it out... Bag your fleece and once shearing is over, place your fleece on a skirting table and remove as much vm as possible. Also shake your fleece, if you do not then guess what you are paying for your dirt to be processed. Fleece holds dirt, and processors charge on incoming weight. Dirt is heavy!!!!! Now
if you open up your fibers we will not process it for you. We are in the fiber processing business, We will not go through all this work for air fleece. We have to make a profit somewhere we have a family to support. Also when you are handling your fleece, look at it please, if you see lice, don' t send it to us. Lice sticks to the fiber shafts and in dark fleeces its white, in light fleeces its brown. If you fleece feels like straw and it crunches don' t send it. If your fleece is loaded with guard hair, don' t send it. Slight guard is fine and we can get that out.
How long does it take you to process?. Again every fleece is different, we process fleece in a first come first serve basis. It can take a few weeks to a few months to get your fleece returned to you. That is why we suggest you contact us so we can let you know where we are at in our processing stages. Yarn takes the longest to return.
Why does yarn take so long?. Again every fleece is different, depending on how your fleece cards, the lower micron fleeces spin like silk and are quick to do, if your fleeces are like higher grade micron it will not draft as nice as the lower micron fleeces. Also it depends on the weight of yarn you want. If you want thin yarn then it takes longer to fill a bobbin. Medium weight yarns like sport or worsted we spin 1 bobbin an hour. It takes two bobbins to ply. After your fleece is spun into singles on a bobbin then it needs to rest for 24 hours to relax the twist. Then after 24 hours your singles are plied then after its plied it has to rest another 24 hours on the bobbin and then after that its skeined and then washed. After the yarn is washed it has to dry for 24 hours and then once dry, we braid it for you and then you have finished yarn.
How do we receive our fleece back?. We offer either a pickup or we will ship back your fleece for a charge.