Paddock to Fibre - the Mill Process
Our 13 pieces of machinery are state of the art and designed to maximise your processing options.
Processing in the mini mill is similar to other processing methods but on a smaller scale. The advantage of the mini mill is that breeders can have their own fibre, including single fleeces, returned as high quality products. Clients have the opportunity to select from a wide range of top quality products in small quantities. Larger orders of batched or blended fleeces can also be processed.
On arrival, each fleece is registered and its incoming weight recorded. A small sample of each fleece is kept as a reference point and a worksheet is completed which stays with the fleece on its journey through the mill, creating accurate records at each step.
We have recently introduced testing the diameter of each incoming fleece using the Fibrelux micron meter. Fleeces are tumbled to remove dirt, second cuts and vegetable matter before being washed for a period of at least three hours, then dried in preparation for processing.
Processing includes picking, separating, carding, drafting, spinning, plying, steaming and winding into balls or skeins.
Click to view a process flow chart (chart courtesy of Belfast Mini Mills)
The first stage in the process is tumbling.
The tumbler is designed as a mechanical skirting aide.
It tumbles and opens the fleece to release dirt, vegetation, shorter fibres, and guard hair.