Fiber Processing

The process of bringing fine fibers to you…

A lot of work goes into the process of preparing our alpaca fiber and sheep’s wool in order that we can give our customers the highest quality of fine artisan fibers.

First, our sheep are sheared in the spring. Our alpacas are sheared in the beginning of summer. The alpaca fiber and sheep’s wool is brought to a specialized fiber processing mill that prepares it for either roving for spinning, or yarn
for knitting.

Fiber processingThe sheep’s wool is placed in a large washing machine and laundered between 135 to 145 degrees to ensure that the lanolin is completely removed. Alpaca fiber is laundered  between 115 to 120 degrees.

Alpaca and sheep fiber is placed on a machine called a picker. This process opens the fiber allowing for debris and vegetable matter to be removed.

The fiber then goes through the carder machine which aligns the fiber for roving. After going through the carder machine the roving comes out in one continuous strand.

The drafting machine combines two strands of roving together so that it is dense enough to be used on a spinning machine or a
spinning wheel.

The roving is then put on the 8 bobbin spinner machine which makes the roving into a single strand of yarn. Next the single strand of yarn is placed on the 4 bobbin plyer machine where it joins the strands of yarn together to make the desired ply of yarn i.e. 2 ply, 4 ply, etc.

The yarn is then placed on the cone winder machine and then placed in a steamer machine which sets the twist of the yarn. The yarn goes back to the cone winder and then on to the skein winder where it is cut to the desired skein amount. The last step that is taken is to rinse the skeins and hang
them to dry.

Thank you to Bill and Inge Moe of “Superior Fibers” who were very kind and gracious in allowing us to document
this process.

 

 

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