As a custom fiber processing mill, Legacy Lane offers a full range of services including washing, picking, carding, dehairing, spinning, plying, felting and weaving. We are committed to processing your fiber in an environmentally responsible manner; offering high-quality services; minimizing turn-around time for your orders; and strictly adhering to the processing schedule, based on reservations for milling time. Our processing facility is equipped to process alpaca, wool, llama, bison, cashmere, angora and mohair. We also offer a variety of blending fibers including, superwash merino, bamboo, seacell silk, hemp, nylon, domestic sheep's wool and much more!
If you decide to have your fleece processed with us, please ensure you have a
FARM IDENTIFICATION tag in each bag.
The Milling Process
Fiber Report Card
Our first step is to create an individualized Fiber Report Card for your fleece. This report tracks the condition and weight of the fiber through each step of the milling process. To begin, we thoroughly inspect the fleece in preparation for washing and make notes of condition and weight on the Fiber Report Card.
Washing & Drying
Each wash takes three hours and cleans up to 10lbs of fleece at a time. Water temperature is kept at 140 F to maximize cleaning efficiency and remove contaminants from the fleece. In an attempt to be as environmentally responsible as possible we use an all-natural, citrus based soap which is fully biodegradable. To conserve water, the washing machine operates with the aid of a recycling tank that recycles three of five washing cycles. Once washed, the fiber dries naturally under gentle fans and takes approximately 24 hours to fully dry.
Picking is done on the 'picker machine' which gently opens fibers. The intake belt sends fibers through separation rollers which then blows the fiber into the 'picker room'. Here the fleece is sprayed with a vegetable based conditioner to eliminate static and lubricate the fibers.
The fiber separator is designed to remove as many guard hairs and vegetation as possible. Fibers such as llama, cashmere, buffalo and some alpaca require the fiber separator. If guard hairs are not properly removed they will cause product to be scratchy. Not all fleece requires this machine, but some fibers, such as cashmere, require several passes which can result in a higher fee. This machine is not a substitute for good sorting and skirting practices.
The carder is the heart of the mill. Carding combs the fibers over several drums and removes more undesirables from the fleece. Fiber that has been carded can be packaged as roving or batts, or taken to the next step in the milling process.
Known as the 'carder's helper', the drawframe further aligns the fibers and drafts the roving to a smaller circumference in preparation for spinning into yarn.
At Legacy Lane we use an eight-spindle spinner that produces a single ply yarn which can then be plyed into various two or three ply yarns.
The plying machine takes single ply yarns from the spinner and twists them together into a finished yarn. After the yarn is plied, it is removed from bobbins and put onto cones where it is steamed to set the twist and loft of the yarn. Wax for weaving can also be applied to the yarn at this stage. Yarn can be shipped to you on cones or in skein form.
Sheets of felt can be made from processed fiber that has been carded into batt form. In this case, the batt is layered onto the felting table and soaked with hot soapy water. The top plate of the felting table is closed and agitation begins. This makes a sheet of felt which measures 3' X 4'.
Sheets of felt can be cut into insoles with our insole press. From one 2' x 4' sheet of felt, requiring 2 lbs of clean fiber, we can produce an average of 6 pairs of large insoles or 7 pairs of small insoles at a cost of $4.75 a pair. Please see our Insoles page for more details.
In 2013, Legacy Lane purchased a large AVL loom so that we can offer handweaving services to our clients. This allows us to take your yarn and turn it into beautiful handwoven products such as rugs, shawls, blankets and throws. Your slightly rougher, shorter fiber seconds can be used for weaving beautiful rugs. Please see our Weaving Services page for more details.
Legacy Lane has developed many services over the last several years to our processing clients. After having your fiber transformed into yarn, you can have in valued added into knit items to enhance your product line. Please visit our Knitting Services page for a list of items you can have knit from your very own yarns.
Along with our value added services of weaving and knitting, Legacy Lane offers the service of fiber or yarn dye to customize your product line even more. Please visit our Fiber & Yarn Dyeing Services page for more details on having your farms harvest dyed. There you will a list of colors and techniques that we offer..