Have you ever wondered just how raw wool gets turned into yarn? We love working with Canadian farmers to procure the best natural wool and create a variety of yarn for our customers. So, we are going to peel back the curtain just a bit to give you a peek into the process. We hope you find it as exciting as we do!

It all starts with sourcing fibre from Canadian farmers who abide by high standards in animal care and care of the lands that they thrive on. Starting with healthy, respected, well taken care of animals is essential to the quality of the final products and ensures that your purchase is an ethically sound choice.

Tumbling

The first step in making natural wool yarn is tumbling. This is a vital step. Tumbling removes lots of short second cuts, dirt, and hay that skirting beforehand doesn’t get rid of, though skirting is essential. It also makes for more effective washing.

Washing

Our washing process uses hot – emphasis on hot – water, as well as a wool scouring product to remove lanolin and dirt without damaging the integrity of the fibre. Our method of washing has proven to be effective and delivers consistent results.

Picking

Next, clean, air-dried wool goes to the picker. This process removes final traces of dry dirt, dust and impurities and teases opens up the fibre’s locks. Picked wool is fluffy, consistent, and an important step in getting an even feed in the carding process (which we will discuss next). Once the wool is fully picked, conditioning oil is added. This is what reduces static, as static can negatively affect the rest of the processing, as well as the end result.

Carding

Here is where the fibre starts its journey towards becoming the yarn you are used to seeing in stores. The carder takes the picked fibre and combs it out over the course of several toothed drums spinning in perfect alignment. The fibre comes off the card as a long squishy ‘rope’ of what is called roving. Roving can be used to felt, weave with and hand spin yarn, or it can be taken to the next step for making yarn on machines.

Drawframe

Roving goes through the drawframe, which combines 2 lengths of roving into one and stretching it out, into a thinner, more consistent roving for the spinners. Consistent roving is essential to consistent, evenly spun yarn, and so we put fibre through this machine twice to ensure the next step goes smoothly.

Spinning

Spinning produces the most conventional (and commercial) yarn. The spinner thins out the roving even further and adds “twist” to hold it together, while simultaneously winding it onto bobbins.

Plying

Plying creates a stronger, balanced yarn consisting of taking 2 or more single strands of yarn produced during the spinning phase, and twisting it in the opposite direction. This is what makes a stable finished yarn and keeps it from untwisting itself.

Skeining

The final step, “skeining”, winds the yarn into the desired weight or length hank. We then wash the yarn to remove any remaining dirt and conditioning oils used during the process.

Tumbling

Tumbling

The first step in making natural wool yarn is tumbling. This is a vital step. Tumbling removes lots of short second cuts, dirt, and hay that skirting beforehand doesn’t get rid of, though skirting is essential. It also makes for more effective washing.

Washing

Washing

Our washing process uses hot – emphasis on hot – water, as well as a wool scouring product to remove lanolin and dirt without damaging the integrity of the fibre. Our method of washing has proven to be effective and delivers consistent results.

Picking

Picking

Next, clean, air-dried wool goes to the picker. This process removes final traces of dry dirt, dust and impurities and teases opens up the fibre’s locks. Picked wool is fluffy, consistent, and an important step in getting an even feed in the carding process (which we will discuss next). Once the wool is fully picked, conditioning oil is added. This is what reduces static, as static can negatively affect the rest of the processing, as well as the end result.

Carding

Carding

Here is where the fibre starts its journey towards becoming the yarn you are used to seeing in stores. The carder takes the picked fibre and combs it out over the course of several toothed drums spinning in perfect alignment. The fibre comes off the card as a long squishy ‘rope’ of what is called roving. Roving can be used to felt, weave with and hand spin yarn, or it can be taken to the next step for making yarn on machines.

Drawframe

Drawframe

Roving goes through the drawframe, which combines 2 lengths of roving into one and stretching it out, into a thinner, more consistent roving for the spinners. Consistent roving is essential to consistent, evenly spun yarn, and so we put fibre through this machine twice to ensure the next step goes smoothly.

Spinning

Spinning

Spinning produces the most conventional (and commercial) yarn. The spinner thins out the roving even further and adds “twist” to hold it together, while simultaneously winding it onto bobbins.

Plying

Plying

Plying creates a stronger, balanced yarn consisting of taking 2 or more single strands of yarn produced during the spinning phase, and twisting it in the opposite direction. This is what makes a stable finished yarn and keeps it from untwisting itself.

Skeining

Skeining

The final step, “skeining”, winds the yarn into the desired weight or length hank. We then wash the yarn to remove any remaining dirt and conditioning oils used during the process.

We are Proud of our Yarn Process and Expertise

Rosebud River Fibre Mill aims to be the premier Alberta yarn processing facility for all your natural wool and alpaca fibre needs. We have the reputation, experience, equipment, and dedication to produce the high quality products you deserve. We are always transparent about our products and process and welcome any questions you may have.