Having Yarn Custom Spun at a Mill
Choosing a spinning mill is a vastly personal choice, with many variations in price, quality, and types and abilities of equipment offered to do the job. Here are some things to keep in mind.
A couple things to consider about mills:
They are not created equal. I love small spinning mills, but they are not all created equally, much like handspun yarn is not all created equally. Turn around can be slow some times of the year, as there are influxes of lots of fleeces to be processed, especially right after shearing.
If they are processing the yarn for you (washing it and carding) make sure you get a good rec’ as some do better jobs then others. Make sure they can process your wool or mill ends first. Make sure they are familiar with the breeds you use- you don’t want to send angora to someone who only is set up for alapca. Likewise, some mills cannot do very thick or very thin yarns, and some are limited to the number of plies they can do. Know the TYPE of yarn you want (yards per pound, twist, etc). Most mills will want to know more specifics than “sock weight”, as weights can mean very different things to different people.
Mills are not all environmentally friendly (electricity, the spinning oils, machines for setting the twist, and several other things). *BUT* there are mills that specialize in running off solar power etc. Many mills use refurbished equipment (like mine) or equipment from minimills ltd, a Canadian company that specializes in mill equipment for small businesses. Most mills that use either of these equipments tend to be quite small. socks manufacturer