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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I wash my fleece before I bring it to you? 

Yes. This may result in cost savings for you at multiple steps in the process. All fibre will still be washed by us as our equipment necessitates that all fibre be cleaned through our special washing system.

 

Will I just get my fibre back?

You can choose. If you want to have an end-product that is 100% your fibre, then you will be able to specify this through the order form. It is important to note that this approach will result in more loss per pound as the equipment absorbs some of the fibre as it processes it. It might also mean a delay in processing your fibre, as your order would need to follow a cleaning cycle in the mill.

Alternatively, we can maximize the amount of end product you get if we pre-load the equipment with our fibre. This means there will be a very small percentage of our fibre in your finished product. This approach is our preference in relation to our work flow in the wool mill.

 

I have one fleece, how many skeins of yarn will I get back?

It isn’t possible to answer this question with reliable accuracy. From the initial weighing at receiving to the end product (e.g., yarn), the weight loss can be as much as 60%. This is due to the level of dirt, lanolin and vegetable matter in the fleece, as well as the characteristics and quality of the fibre itself. We can provide a rough estimate when we appraise your fleece, but it is important to note that this is a guess.

 

Do I have to give you one full fleece? Or can I “batch” my order and group fleece that I would like to be processed together?

We operate based on weight, so as long as each batch is a minimum of 5 lbs. it can be from multiple animals. You are encouraged to batch your order by grouping like quality of fibre.

 

Is there any limit to the type of fibre you will process?

We will process sheep’s wool, alpaca and mohair.

 

Will you work with wool that has already been processed?

(Example: I have made wool batts that I’d like to have made into yarn).

Unfortunately, we are only able to process raw fleece. We do not take wool that has already been through one or more stages of processing.

 

Can I just have my fleece washed?

We only wash fibre that is being further processed by us; we do not offer washing as a separate service at this time. 

 

Do you offer custom dyeing?

Not at this time.

 

I have a flock of sheep and am not interested in custom milling. Will you purchase my fleece?

We do purchase fleeces from fibre farmers. Our first step will be to evaluate the fleece to determine if we can use it. Please contact us if this option is of interest to you.

How clean is "very clean"?

We encourage you to ensure your fleece is as clean as possible by completing a thorough skirting. Skirting is the process of removing “junk” wool (including manure tags), stains, second cuts (short pieces of wool produced by cutting the staple twice in shearing), and vegetable matter (i.e., hay, straw, twigs, burrs) from the wool fleece prior to processing it. Skirting is usually done immediately after shearing but can be done at any time. 


We do not offer a full skirting service. We will skirt to a maximum of one hour when the fleece is very close to being clean enough to process through the equipment (see the price list for the service fee). Wool milling equipment at this level does not remove the contamination in a fleece as we are not using chemicals or a full scouring process (like you would see in a scouring plant), so the more you remove the more likely your fleece will be accepted and you will be happy with the finished product. 

Resources: 

Ask the Shepherd: The Proper Way to Skirt a Fleece

Video Skirting Your Fleece from Junction Fibre Mill

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