Fiber Mill FAQ
What fibers do we process?
We currently process alpaca, llama, mohair, pygora and most wools. Some suri alpaca may require blending with huacaya or wool to be processed. Please inquire to discuss other fibers or custom blends. Setup fees may apply.
Are there limits to what we can process ?
Our machines require that the staple (fiber) length be greater then 2 inches and less than 7 inches. We also have a minimum run size of 3 lbs (5 lbs for wool), 6 lbs for rug yarn. There is some loss in each machine. We recommend combining small fleeces for larger runs. We reserve the right to return fiber that it is not well skirted or will not run in our machines. It will be shipped back at the customers expense.
What is needed to prepare fiber ?
Fleeces must be well skirted. We check for items that can damage our machines, staple length greater then 7 inches, and excessive vegetation. Short fibers (< 2 in.), dirt, sand, poop, hay and other vegetation reduce the quality and yield of your finished product. They also increase your shipping and washing cost.
We do not skirt fleeces, so remember this saying: "Garbage In Garbage Out". Our machines take out a lot, but not all. Clean pastures and well skirted fleeces yield the highest quality product.
Also the finer the fiber, the harder it is for our machines to get the VM (vegetable matter) out. It requires more passes through Fiber Seperator to get it clean compared to higher micron count fleeces with the same amount of VM.
What if I have already washed my fleeces ?
We wash or rewash all fleeces that come to our mill. This ensures that fleeces are clean to the specs that are required for our equipment. This keeps the quality and production up. Fiber that is not clean can gum up the machines. This can reduce the quality of the output as well as require us to shut down to clean the equipment.
Where did all the weight go?
There is a varying amount of lost weight through each process. It starts with the FIBER and the washing. Wools have more grease (lanolin) then other fibers so wools typically have the greatest loss. So there is some weight that goes down the drain with the wash water.
Also the amount of dirt, sand, vegetation, and short fibers will effect the final weight. With each machine some of this sand, dirt and vegetation will fall out as well. At each machine some fiber is also lost to start up and residuals. This is why we have a 4 pound minimum run size. This keeps your percentage loss to a minimum.
When we run your fiber through the Fiber Separator your weight loss will vary. We run all fiber once through the separator. With each pass you loose some good fiber with the VM and or coarser fibers. But the final product will be of a higher value. Some fibers may benefit from additional passes.
We do our best to balance the yield vs. quality. Let us know when you send your fiber which is more important to you.
When can I send you my fiber ?
We have limited storage capacity. Contact us to see if we have room for your fiber. Be prepared with fiber type, approx. weight and colors.
What is your turn around time ?
We strive to have all jobs done as quickly as possible (< 4 months). Large jobs require more time and may be billed in groups as completed. We try to balance our processing order by type of fiber, colors, and date fiber arrived.
Call or Email for current turn around time.