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Author Topic: getting fleece spun  (Read 9228 times)

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
getting fleece spun
« on: March 18, 2010, 09:10:52 pm »
I am thinking of getting my Shetland fleeces spun commercially this year and was wondering if anyone knows of companies (other than Natural Fibre) that undertake the processing of small quantities of fleece (about 20kgs of thereabouts)? I am just trying to get some ideas about cost etc at this stage, if too expensive project might be shelved for year or so...
Voss Electric Fence

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 10:13:39 pm »
will be follolwing this thread with interest as i am in the same position!

ballingall

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 10:50:46 pm »
Is it not possible to find someone local to you who spins for a hobby and would spin your fleece? Thats what we did years ago, knew a couple of people who did it out of the love of spinning, and gave them some of the wool so they could use it as well.

Beth

sagehen

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Warwickshire
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 03:19:02 pm »
Echoing ballingall, if it's only a small quantity, strike a deal with the local spinners group -you donate the fleeces on condition that they give you back say half the wool handspun by them or something. Alternatively, some of them may like to earn a little on the side, so you can always do a deal with them. Are you planning on selling the spun wool?

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2010, 05:04:56 pm »
Hello

Yes! There are a number of mini mills that can help....but can be  v expensive!
However.....
If the fleeces can be blended together i.e 25kg plus of the same colour or blend of colours then I can wash and dry and 'open' the fleece and then John Arbon at Coldharbour Mill can spin it. We charge £15 per kg for that service and John charges I think, £15 for his bit....the carding and spinning. This is plus VAT
The yarn will be amazing as he is one of the best spinners in britain....and no not all spinners are the same :o
If you need extra wool to make up to 25kg I can add some as I have shetland available. Now that may seem very expensive BUT getting it handspun is much more expensive as folks who handspin for others charge a LOT!
Once the wool is spun and hanked it will be worth over £60 per kg.....£6per 100g and you need about 800g for a jumper
Hand spinning will not return much of a profit unless you spin it yourself and have the time to use for that purpose, commercial spinning will give you a return even though the initial outlay is a lot.
I hope that helps a bit, wool processing is a messy and protracted business and we as the processors do not make a large profit on processing I can honestly assure you!
 
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

MurmuringWheel

  • Joined Aug 2008
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2010, 09:05:24 pm »
The yarn will be amazing as he is one of the best spinners in britain 

Yes, but no matter how amazing, it will still be mill spun yarn.

Hand spinning will not return much of a profit
It can though, I am spinning for customers who are selling the yarn at a profit. The fact that it is handspun rather than mill spun is the selling point.

Please note that I'm not touting for business by posting this. I have far too much work at the moment! I am just tired of hearing that mill spun wool is the ONLY option. What suits one person, or one market does not always suit another.

If you have your own fleeces, it is entirely up to you what you do with them!

My personal opinion is that Shetland is suited to handspinning. If your wool has special features, such as bleached ends or colour variation, this can be preserved when handpsun, but will be lost through mill carding and spinning.

BUT, this is my personal opinion. Some people looking to have their wool processed may totally disagree and will choose what they think is the best option for their fibre.
www.murmuringwheel.co.uk Handspinning, knitting, crocheting services, spinning tuition and demonstrations at events nationwide.

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2010, 11:01:14 pm »
Oh I totally agree murmering wheel, if you have speciality fleece handspinning is possibly the preferred option and we wash and card for lots of hand spinners making sure we retain the character of the fleece rather than making it all uniform!.......which in the case of some fleeces with multitudes of different colours withing them would be tragic!
However when a flock owner has 20kg, that is a fair bit of wool and with their sheep needing an annual shear it can mount up! I have had hand spun commissions to wash for and I know the work involved!!!

We do very much try to keep fleece charecter even within the mill spinning.....I think it is a testament to the spinner if he or she can retain the charecteristics of different fleeces rather than treating them all as one!
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

sagehen

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Warwickshire
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2010, 01:19:08 pm »

 I am just tired of hearing that mill spun wool is the ONLY option. What suits one person, or one market does not always suit another.




I quite agree. There are many sheep owners who realise the importance of keeping cottage industries alive, as well as being aware that handspinning is a dying craft and wanting to help sustain it. Personally, I feel that handspun wool has far more character and soul, especially since they are not perfectly uniform like mill spun wool, and to me, that is usually the selling point.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2010, 04:44:43 pm »
Hi, tanks for the replies form everyone. I am handsinnning as much wool myself as I can at the moment (and thats not that much given goats, pigs, sheep, chickens and family all want to be fed/watered etc etc), but I need some yarn to knit socks and also my mother knits a lot for my girls. It s just that I cannot use all of my fleeces, but would not be able to afford handspining by someone else. Quotes from Natural Fibres is in the region of 500pounds per 20 kg fleece, but maybe if I can just get it washed and carded it will be easier to find willing spinners.... just thinking aloud...

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2010, 09:51:29 pm »
I couldn't get anyone to take my Ryeland fleece - not even free, although I woudl like some return on it if possible. I may go for commercial spin this year ot we'll b moving boxes of it in the flitting!

woollyval

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • Near Bodmin, Cornwall
    • Val Grainger
Re: getting fleece spun
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2010, 10:23:46 pm »
Processing IS expensive.....we cannot help that as it costs a lot in terms of time, machinery, washing liqued, electric etc plus the clean down time between colours and types of wool. However, once processed a worthless product becomes worth a lot of money.....fact! We will have a 5ft needle felter soon, its on its way across the pond at the moment so will be able to make big rolls of needle felt as well as big sheets of wet felt!......these can be made into all sorts of things such as yurt liners, bags, jackets etc. Wool suitable for spinning can be processed and sent on for that, whilst other wools can be carded ready for stuffing upmarket pillows and cushions......
Added value is just that...added!.....and I am not just saying what I have facilities to achieve, there are a number of us out there trying to help folks see that wool is not a problem but a solution!
www.smallholdinginsomerset.blogspot.com
www.valgrainger.co.uk

Overall winner of the Devon Environmental Business Awards 2009

 

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