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Spinning Mill Processes Large And Small Fiber Orders
Serious knitters love experimenting with specialty yarns, and Donna Hancock knows that. Her businessís ability to process raw fibers sets her apart from other cottage fiber processing businesses that only produce regular ply yarns. Sheís also unusual in that her business, Wellington Fibres, welcomes customers with orders as small as one fleece.
  Her own need to process small orders into specialty yarns led Hancock to hire an experienced processor to help her set up the fiber processing mill in 2006. She raises Angora goats and hand-spins her own yarn.
  ďI learned details and characteristics of fibers. That has been a real asset. It helps know how to make better blends for specific uses,Ē she says.
  Each order gets personal attention. She asks about the fiber and how the customer wants to use it. If a fleece comes in that is too dirty, she lets customers know it will be very expensive to process and that they likely wonít be happy with the results.
  With three employees and a full line of processing equipment, Wellington Fibres cleans and processes fibers into roving for hand spinners, batts for felting or quilting, and regular ply and specialty yarns and yarn blends. Hancockís website lists fees for washing, processing and dyeing based on weight.
  Most of the fibers are from sheep, goats and alpacas, but Wellington Fibres also blends dog hair with wool and has even processed yak hair from Mongolia.
  She says itís not a business that makes a lot of money and that itís important to have a background in spinning, knitting and yarn to successfully run a processing mill.
  Hancock spins when she finds time between running the business and working at a university as a forage breeder. She blends the mohair from her angora goats with wool and creates kits for knitters to make a scarf, hat or other item for less than $20.
  ďItís a way of introducing people to a product without a big investment,Ē Hancock says.
  The blend of products and services has kept her business very busy and popular with customers. Typically, her staff works on various stages of about six orders at a time, and they have 7 to 8 mos. of work waiting to be done.
  Hancock accepts fibers from Canada and the U.S. Check out the businessís website for services, pricing and available products.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Donna Hancock, Wellington Fibres, 7119 Middlebrook Rd., Rt. 1, Elora, Ont., Canada N0B 1S0 (ph 519 846-0669; www.wellingtonfibres.on.ca).

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2014 - Volume #38, Issue #2