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The Natural Fibre
The Natural Fibre

Making more with your wool

The spinning mill which helps you add value to wool, mohair and alpaca

Processes

This page takes you through the processes we offer and describes how we tailor the services for everyone from smallholders to overseas customers and large trade businesses.  We aim to be prompt in replying to enquiries and can often put you in touch with additional contacts or experts to take your yarn or processed fleece further along the route to your eventual customers.
 
As British wool spinners we add value by processing quantities of fleece from 20 kilograms up to over a tonne and more.  Because we scour, card, dye and woollen and worsted spin under one roof, we are effectively experts in all aspects of the process of turning raw fleece into high quality yarn, some of it rare and highly specialised.  Most of our customers are in the UK for rare and specialist breeds, but we also process fibre for people in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and even the United States.
 
Each batch is processed entirely individually, guaranteeing that each customer only gets their own fibre returned in whatever form they have chosen.
 
Since we relocated to Cornwall in 2005 we have worked on over 50 of the 60-plus breeds that make up the 33 million sheep in Britain and the style and quality of the fleece is hugely variable and yields change from one breed to another.

In order to work out what it will cost to add value to your fleece, you need to decide what kind of yarn you want, which will depend on how you plan to market it.  As a rough guide allow £30-50 per finished kilogram for knitting yarns, including VAT and carriage.  The precise price depends on whether you choose woollen or worsted spinning and what format your yarn takes, for example cones, skeins or balls.

Our minimum order of 20 kilograms will, after the fleece is scoured, generally yield an average weight of 12-15 kilograms.  So the total cost should fall between £500-800.  Should you plan to use your yarn for weaving, the yarn spinning will be cheaper, at around £400-500 for the mininum batch, but bear in mind that spinning and then weaving 50 metres of cloth will cost at least £1,300, or £26 a a metre, from which you will have enough to make about 20 throws or 100 scarves.

Follow this link to our advice page where there is a mass of information that can be downloaded. If processing fibre is something you haven't done before, look at our Case Studies to see how some of our other customers have answered the questions you may be asking now.

Please note that for environmental reasons we cannot process fibre treated with pesticides less than three months before the date of shearing. Follow this link for a virtual tour of the mill. Best of all speak to us (44 1566 777 635) - we will be happy to help!

So how do we do it?

  • We sort, scour and card your fleece before spinning it into the finished form you specify. It can be pure or blended and either woollen or worsted spun and returned to you in balls as shown above, hanks or on cones;
  • Our dye house can match any colour you choose;
  • Every one of our services is fully licensed for organic production by the Soil Association;
  • We can also process directly from scoured fleece or tops.

Remember that the British Wool Marketing Board is the monopoly purchaser of wool from flocks with four sheep or more, although there are exceptions for minority and rare breeds and for those who want to add value to their fleece.  The Wool Board is supportive of what we do, but if you are uncertain of the rules, you may apply to them for an exemption or we have a letter for you to use, if you wish.  We have a British Wool license and our Blacker Yarns products are entitled to carry the British Wool logo.