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 £60-100 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, with or without labels.
Our minimum order of 20 kilograms will, after the fleece is scoured, generally yield an average weight of 10-15 kilograms. So the total cost should fall between £800-1,500. Should you plan to use your yarn for weaving, the yarn spinning will be cheaper, at around £600-800 for the minimum batch, but bear in mind that spinning and then weaving 50 metres of cloth with a traditional weaver will cost up to £2,000 overall, from which you will have enough to make about 20 throws or 100 scarves.
Follow this link to our Advice and Information page where there is more detailed 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 four months before the date of shearing.
Follow this link for a virtual tour of the mill. We are also buildling a detailed set of articles called The Wool Journey in our Blacker Thoughts Blog, which provides information on every stage from field to final product. 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, hanks or on cones;
- We can put you in touch with specialist dyers who 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 Supporter license and also a Made in Cornwall accreditation.