September 9, 2009

A New Fibre Processing Mill in Ontario

Me at the de-hairer with Ebbie's fleece after it's been cleaned and gone through the picker:
John Docherty and Sharon Trent of Alpacas From Eighth and Mud are amazing. They are dedicated fibre enthusiasts and decided that a mini-mill is just what they needed to encourage the market for fine alpaca fibre and offer another source for processing in Canada.
This past Labour Day weekend the mill equipment arrived, delivered by Graham and Jeff of Belfast Mini-Mills in Prince Edward Island.
Here is a picture of John proudly showing off the first bump of roving while Sharon works on some calculations at the table:
Here is a before picture of the mill:
And after (John is showing something to Lynn):
Alpacas need to be sheared annually and yield approximately 4 to 10 pounds of fleece. Many alpaca breeders believe that the future of alpaca farming is in the production of fine quality fibre, and it is necessary to have local mills that can process it into top quality yarn or fabric. I had to drive 3 hours (one-way) to the mill where Serena's fleece was processed. They did a great job, but it will be nice to have a mill this close.

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