*Our waiting list for processing is currently full. We will reopen the waitlist in April or May, 2018. If you have a small batch of 1-2 fleeces, feel free to contact us in case we are able to squeeze it in--we will do our best! Thanks for your patience.
So you’ve had your animal shorn, now what? Here are some guidelines to follow for getting your fiber ready for processing.
Please be sure to contact us in advance. We do not store fiber at the mill. Instead you will be put on the list and when we are almost ready, we will contact you to set up a drop off or let you know it is time to ship it our way!
To keep milling cost effective for you, please consider having same colored fleeces processed together. Extensive cleaning takes place between different batches in an effort to keep your product yours. For this reason, we have a minimum poundage charge. We will process smaller batches, but fees do apply. Please see the services and rates pages for more info. The more you can combine fleeces into a single processing batch, the less it will cost you.
Prepping your fiber
Deciding to send your fiber to be processed means that you should start prepping for the best possible fiber your animal can make, from the beginning. And when we say from the beginning we mean, when the animal starts growing that particular fleece.
Make sure they are getting the necessary nutrients and feed, keep them grazing in areas that have no burrs, sap, etc., try your best to keep hay from falling into their coats and be sure they are shorn yearly (twice a year is recommended for more primitive double coated sheep breeds) on a clean dry surface.
Skirting. Skirt skirt skirt. The pros are if you have done the above skirting is a much less daunting job. One main rule, “Poop will still be poop when it comes out of the washer.” Get out poop and any areas that are cotted or where excessive sweat is present in the fleece. Pick out as much VM (vegetable matter) and pull the fiber that is less than desirable.
Bag up your fleeces in the batches that you want them processed and fill out a Mill Processing Sheet for each batch. (i.e. if you are putting all your white fleeces together, fill out one sheet for that batch. All black fleeces together, fill out one sheet for this batch as well). We recommend having your fleeces washed at Ewethful Mill. It is imperative that the fiber is clean for the milling process to go well. If you send fleeces in washed, we may require further washing if we deem they are not quite clean enough.
Finally decide what end product you would like your fiber to be processed to and mark the Mill Processing sheet clearly. If you would like custom blending done, please call the Mill to discuss your options. We carry Ashland Bay natural and dyed Merino, tussah silk, dyed bamboo and alpaca in a variety of colors from local farms and flashing to add a little sparkle.
Roving, 2-8 inches are the lengths that are successful.
The options for you are endless, whether you decide to keep your fleece natural or add different colors or fibers. Be creative and have fun!!!