Processing your wool
Foster Creek Fiber Mill is a full-service, custom fiber mill that works with you to add value to the fibers you raise. We love seeing small, local farmers and ranchers turning their fibers into beautiful, usable products. Whether into roving, yarn or felt, we can help you.
Print the form at the top of the page and send one with each individual order.
The more you skirt, the less you pay in the end. Please take time to lay out your fleeces and clean out as much unwanted vegetable matter, dung, under-arm felted fibers and tangles as you can.
How This Works:
When you decide to send your fiber to me, package each order in together in one bag if possible. Each order/bag should have its own order form filled out. If you are unsure on, say, thickness of the felt you desire, just give me a call (605) 460-2405 and we can discuss options.
Typically, there is about a 4-6 month wait once you have shipped me your order. Please don't include a downpayment check in the box unless you call me ahead and let me know! I don't always open the boxes immediately.
When it's time for me to start working on your order, I will contact you with an emailed invoice, billing you for approximately half of the finished order. If you've sent a large amount of fiber, I may break your orders down and only bill you for a portion at a time.
Your wool fibers will be washed in two sinks of very hot (140-150 degrees) water with organic soap and rinsed 1-2 times before being spun out and air dried. Fibers that do not have heavy lanolins may not need the hot water but will still be washed in organic soap and rinsed well. You are welcome to wash your fibers before sending them and that will reduce the incoming weight and your final price, but I will wash them again to insure they are as clean as I want them before sending them through my machines.
After washing and drying, the fibers move on to the picker. This machine opens the fibers. It is also where I will mix colors or fibers together into blends. An order of "cloud" for spinning on your wheel, is created at this stop.
The carder, my central machine, is where unfelted batts and roving are created. Fibers can be left in either of these forms and used by artist as pillow filler or roving for hand spinners. For those wanting felt, the batts will move to the felting machine, a 6' wide machine filled with 300 3" long needles that efficiently felts the fibers down into a usable mat. We can make anything from a very thin, nearly see-through felt to a 1/2" thick felt. If you have something specific in mind, please send a sample to help me determine exactly what you are thinking.
Roving from the carder will move on to the pin-drafter (draw frame) to have the fibers aligned and prepared for being made into yarn. Some hand spinners prefer their fibers as pin-drafted roving as it creates a smoother finished, hand-spun yarn.
The pin-drafted fibers will move to the spinner and be spun into a single-ply which will then move to the plying machine to be spun onto bobbins as 2-, 3- or 4-ply yarn. From here, you have the option of having me skein your yarn or cone it. Cones are ideal for those who are planning to weave with their yarn.
* The more times through the felting machine, the denser (and usually thinner)
the felt becomes.
*A "sheet" of felt is approximately 42" square, though can vary in size and shape.
*Typically it takes 1 pound of clean wool for a 1/8” sheet, 2 pounds for a ¼” sheet, and 4 pounds for a ½” sheet but this can vary depending on the type of wool and staple length. For planning purposes, double the above amounts to plan how much to send of incoming weight.
*Thinner batts, 1/8", are ideal for quilt batting.
*Approx. 1/4" thick sheets are ideal for shoe inserts and crafts. I can cut shoe inserts on my AccuCut machine for an additional charge. I have 4 die-cut sizes (women's sized 5-6, 7-8, 9-10, and an XL die that cuts a 14" long by 6" wide insole). These can be cut to size for any shoe. They are a warm and cushy addition to any shoes!
I charge $3.00 per pair for cutting insoles.
*Approx. 1/2" thick sheets are ideal for press mats, hot pads/trivets, crafting, stadium seats, or thin saddle pads.
Your final payment will include any additional fees:
felting, shipping, handling and tax.
Final payment will be made before shipping or pick-up.
An order form is required for each project and must be initialed at the bottom before I start on your work. Orders not paid for after 60 days of finishing/invoicing become the property of Foster Creek Fiber Mill. Orders held for more than 30 days after invoicing due to a customer wanting to come pick it up rather than having it shipped will incur a holding fee of $1.00/day.