Processing Wool in pictures, by Susan Gibbs

As with our earlier phases of WOVEMBER, here are some wonderful photos from Susan Gibbs, one of our WOOLCOMRADES in the States, presented here to inspire you to enter our Photo Competition! In case you missed our announcement, the prize-pot now has more stuff in it than at the start of WOVEMBER, so do get snapping to give yourself a chance of winning yourself some 100% WOOL. Meanwhile, here are Susan Gibbs’s wonderful photos of Processing Wool. Together these images tell a wonderful story about both the industrial and domestic ways that dirty, raw sheep fleece can become gorgeous yarn…

It’s very difficult to capture what the mill is like in photographs or even in video. The machinery is enormous, very loud and quite old – most of it from the late 1800s. It’s all very mechanical, in a sort of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine kind of way.

Weighing the incoming fleeces.

This is Dale. His family has owned this mill since the 18-somethings.

I love all the old fashion equipment. No digital scale here!

The receiving area was full of fleeces coming in in all kinds of bags and boxes.

Erin is sitting here so you can see the scale. That is a mountain of fleece!

Last time Erin and I visited the mill they were washing wool. The equipment wasn’t on on this trip but it’s still pretty interesting to see.

The yarn goes through the picker to be opened up and is blown into this room. The pile of fiber in this shot was taller than me.

After the picker, the fiber goes into this massive carder. MacAusland cards all the fiber into pencil roving.

Bolts of pencil roving ready for spinning are everywhere.

The bolts of roving are put on the spinning machine here.

The yarn is being spun onto the cones.

It was really neat watching the yarn wind it’s way up the cones.

Once the yarn is spun it’s put onto the ply-er.

Finished Yarn.

I love these big bins full of spindles.

Here is the Juniper Moon Farm Cormo yarn after being processed by MacAusland’s Woollen Mill!

These words and pictures were first published on the Juniper Moon Farm blog here and are © Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm, and used with her kind permission.

This entry was posted by Felicity Ford.

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