Welcome to our new on-line store here at Mystic Pines Fiber Shoppe.
We have been working hard here at the mill the last several weeks trying to get this site put together. To say the least it has been a learning experience but we have had a lot of fun doing it!!
We thought a good topic for a first blog, and future posts to follow, would be to give you a look at the many steps we take in our mill in processing all of the different fibers we deal with on a daily basis.
When fiber is first brought into the mill, it is weighed up prior to doing anything with it. This is done not only to give the customer an estimation of the cost to process their fiber, but also to give us an idea of how many pounds we will be dealing with for that particular order. Once the fiber is weighed up, every order is also logged into the computer with the customer's name and all other identifying information for that batch of fiber. The fiber continues to be weighed up after every step in the process until completion of that order.
Once weighed, we will do one of two things. If it alpaca or llama or any other fiber that does not have lanolin in it, we will tumble it. This will get a lot of the loose vegetation, dust and chaff out of the fiber.
In the case of sheep's wool, it goes directly to the washing bays to be scoured in 140 degree water so as to remove not only the dirt but the lanolin as well.
The alpaca and other non-lanolin fibers, once tumbled, will also start the washing process. Once the washing is complete, it goes to the drying rack to air dry before the next process.
Once dried, the wool will go out to the tumbler to remove any loose chaff and vegetation that did not come out in the wash.
From the drying rack it is off to the picker to open up the fiber to prepare it for the card.
When the fiber is washed, it tends to get a bit matted and somewhat clumped together. This machine will basically fluff it back up by pulling it apart and shooting it into a small room that the picker attaches to.
In our next installment, we will continue talking about the process, where we will feature the card machine and the pin drafter.