QBFW Services

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When you bring your fibre to QBFW, it gets tagged and labelled immediately. Each clients’ fibre remains separate throughout the processing. We are able to process orders as small as one pound. Smaller amounts can be processed but there will be some mixing with other fibre.

THE FIBRE YOU BRING IS THE FIBRE YOU GET BACK. GUARANTEED.

Download our complete Price List, Fleece Preparation Tips and Order Form

Washing
Fleece is weighed before washing. QBFW will accept pre-washed fleeces, but reserves the right to re-wash, at the regular charge, if the fleece is not clean enough to process. The customer will be notified if this is necessary. Unwashed fleece should be “Skirted” to remove dags (unusable fibre) and foreign material before sending it for processing.  This will be done at the mill if you do not do it before, but since washing is based on the weight in, you are paying extra to have me do this for you.

There is no process that is sure to remove all vegetation from your fleece.  Some heavily contaminated fleece can not be processed without risk of damage to the carder or other equipment.

A note on old fleeces: The grease on fleeces that have been stored for a long time hardens and becomes extremely difficult to scour out.   This may also happen if fleeces are allowed to cool in a hot water wash before all the grease has been washed out.  Such fleeces are also more prone to felting, and may need to be picked before washing to prevent both felting and to open up the fleece so that the soap can penetrate more freely.  There will be an additional charge for such fleeces.
Fleece is washed in individual net bags with mild detergent, usually two washes and 3 rinses. It is spun out between cycles in an adapted washing machine, and laid out on racks to dry.

Here is a downloadable printed guide for washing your own fleece for those who want to try doing it themselves.

Washing price – due in advance  (All other prices are charged and paid at finished weight)

Wool $ 3.50/lb;

Alpaca and mohair $ 4.50/lb

Picking

Picking opens up a washed fleece and separates the fibres, making the fleece easier to prepare. If you will be preparing your own fleece after washing, it will make it easier to card. Picking can also rescue a fleece that is slightly cotted.  Fine fleeces such as Merino should be picked to prevent the fibre from going nibby in carding.

As mentioned above, picking may be necessary to open the locks of very greasy wool fleeces before washing. Mohair and Suri alpaca may also need to be picked prior to washing, to separate and open the locks in order to allow the cleaning solution to penetrate.  A picking charge will be added to such fleeces if necessary. This picking does not remove all vegetation. There is no process that is sure to remove all vegetation from your fleece. Some heavily contaminated fleece will not be processed due to the risk of damage to the equipment.

Picking  price is $2.00/lb

Carding into Roving or Batts

Carding separates and combs the individual fibres and loosely aligns them into wide, flat batts or narrow rovings.  Either preparation is useable for spinning or needle felting; batts are best for pillows or comforters. Carding can also be used to create blends of different fibers or different colors. QBFW’s carding machine is approximately 150 years old and is seen in action in this video.

Carding Prices:

Wool or wool blends – batts or roving: $ 6.50/lb.

Alpaca & mohair: $ 7.50/lb

Suri alpaca: $ 8.50/lb

Pindrafting
Pin-drafting combs and attenuates the fibres in a roving, and packs it neatly in coils for easy spinning. One pass is standard for pin drafting – blending requires 3 or more passes. A standard blend on the pindrafter is 3 passes, which will result in a streaky blend, with the individual components still distinguishable.

If you want a homogenous blend, the carder is a better choice, unless the blending fibre is silk, which may form noils if carded. If you want a homogenous blend on the pin-drafter, please let me know in advance (it will cost more).

Pin-drafting for knitting usually requires 2 passes, and results in a roving thin enough to be knit without spinning – usually using a 4-8mm needle. This is not possible with all fibres – the staple length needs to be at least 3 inches, and longer is better, especially with the more slippery fibres.

Pin-drafting Prices
$ 11.00/lb (includes carding)
$ 4.50/lb (from QBFW roving)
$ 7.50/lb (from other roving)
Pin-blending/pin-drafting for Knitting Prices
$ 14.00/lb (includes carding)
$ 7.00/lb (from QBFW roving)
$ 9.50 (from other roving)

 

 

Spinning
Spinning produces yarn ranging from a single ply to 2-ply fingering/light Double Knitting (DK) weight, 3-ply DK-worsted weight or 4-ply worsted to light chunky weight yarn.  The spinning machine cannot handle very long fibres – 5 inches is about the maximum.

Includes carding & pin-drafting and winding the finished yarn on to a cone

Singles $26/lb                         

2-ply – fingering/light DK weight $30/lb

3-ply – DK-worsted weight $29

4-ply – worsted weight – light chunky $28

Your fibre is weighed, washed, dried, and run through the carder and pin drafter (vintage 1960′s), and then spun (if that’s what you’ve ordered)!