2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Old Or New Wool Processed At Minnesota Woolen Mill
“We have a lot of local sheep producers who bring in a single fleece at a time or wool from an entire, small flock,” says Hank Kearns, St. Peter Woolen Mill. “We will scour the fleece before carding it and make wool batting for quilts or comforters, as well as custom processing it for hand spinning, felting or weaving. We can also make it into custom bedding.”
Prices for custom processing of new wool starts with washing at $4/lb. and carding at $8/lb. Contact the company for a detailed price listing.
Kearns encourages larger volume wool producers looking for custom processing to contact the St. Peter Mill’s sister mill in Montague, Calif. The Woolgatherer Carding Mill is a larger scale wool processor.
“The Montague plant has a 1-bale (500 lb.) minimum due to the set up required with the larger equipment,” says Kearns. “However, for larger amounts it can be more economical.”
While the Woolgatherer Carding Mill offers custom carding, it also sells a variety of wool batting from locally sourced flocks, including domestic dark wool batting. Batting is also available from New Zealand produced wool, including organic certified wool scoured with organic agents. The mill also markets a variety of other fibers.
The St. Peter mill has more than 150 years of experience with wool and will also process mohair, llama and other exotic fibers. Kearns notes that these fibers often require adding some wool for carding.
One thing that really sets the smaller mill apart is the work done with old wool batts. Over time wool batts used in mattresses, comforters, pillows and even quilts can settle and collect dust.
“We custom wash, card and process them,” says Kearns. “We’ll refresh them like new for quilts, mattress toppers and pillows, adding new wool if needed. We also do custom recovering with custom stitching patterns.”
Sheep producers can have their own new wool used to make a variety of bedding products by the mill. Prices for those services can range from $67 for a completed crib-size comforter to $240 for a king size.
The mill also makes and markets its own Nature’s Comfort brand wool bedding, using all domestic wool, most of it from the Midwest. The comforters, mattress pads, pillows, batting and neck rolls all come with a 30-Day Better Sleep Protection Plan. It includes a full refund if not 100 percent satisfied.
The bedding is available from the company, as well as through retailers. The Deluxe mattress pad is priced from $271 to $497, depending on size. Comforters range from $140 for a crib size to $366 for a King. Virgin natural wool batting is priced at $21/lb., and re-carded batting is $17/lb.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, St. Peter Woolen Mill, 101 W. Broadway, St. Peter, Minn. 56082 (ph 507 934-3734; toll free 800 208-9821; www.woolenmill.com); or Woolgatherer Carding Mill, 610 S. 11th St., P.O. Box 155, Montague, Calif. 96064 (ph 530 459-5900; www.thewoolgatherer.com).
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