Prepping Fiber and Tender Fleeces

April 22nd, 2017

For many it’s shearing time! Followed by preparing your fiber for processing.  Just a reminder about proper prep of your fiber (see skirting below) but also a particular comment about checking for tender fiber. This occurs most often in cria/juvi fleeces but can occur in any. If your cria fleeces are extremely fine, then a very small micron change can make them tender, i.e. a 17 micron fleece will need less change to be tender than a 24 micron fleece. It could be caused by weaning but also showing, drenching, transport/moving properties, drought, etc. UV damage or not shearing a cria shortly after birth may cause the tips to be damaged and tender.

While a tender fleece may be able to be processed, it will easily nep, creating slubs and imperfections in your yarn. When you pull at the fiber, if it readily breaks it is tender. This can occur any place along the staple. We receive some that are literally tender all along the staple and I describe them as “shredding”. If you have any questions about the fleece, don’t mix it with others as the entire batch becomes impacted. If you have tender fiber and still want it processed, it’s probably best to do by hand.

Thanks for reading and we look forward to receiving your fiber!

Lay out fleece on skirting table – cut side up
– Gently bounce fleece to remove dust
– Remove second cuts
– Test fiber for soundness by snapping lock of fiber between hands to check for tender breaks
– Remove any leg/neck/belly fiber around edges that is not same quality as prime blanket
– Remove any fiber too short to process
Turn fleece over – cut side down
– Gently pick out debris

Mill Photos

April 9th, 2017

Thought I’d post some photos taken of the mill for an article.

Fiber drying at the wash house.

Ed making rug yarn.

Glo at the plyer.

Roving coming off the card.

Debbie looking at yarn that was just spun.

Glo feeding the carder.

Debbie removing fiber from the separator output bin.

Yarn made in the mill.