We have a fully worsted spinning system, with everything located on the farm – allowing us to spin a fine, even yarn…
Production process to achieve yarn
Shearing & grading -We first need to shear the goats. Prior to shearing, the goats are sorted into age and sex categories. This makes it easier for the shearers and also the sorters. The fibre is sorted between the different age groups & qualities, so the 100% kid yarn is only made from kid mohair. Irrespective of age, the mohair must have a good feel or handle to it for it to be included in the 100% kid. Different ages & qualities of mohair are used in different yarns e.g. adult mohair is used for more robust, outer wear garments & kid mohair is used for fine luxurious garments that are worn close to sensitive areas of skin, such as scarves around necks.
Note the gentle guiding hands on the horns, goats respond to a soft touch. Note also the clean cut free belly of the goat. Slow is the only way to shear and get a good looking goat and good length fibre in the bag to spin.
Washing & Drying – This is the process where soil and the animal grease are removed from the fibre. As the farm is free of burrs, we only wash the mohair, we do not carbonize or use harsh chemicals to remove dirt and vegetation. The mohair is air dried in the sun. This is environmentally friendly and also is good for the mohair.
Carding – This process teases the mohair out.
Gilling – this aligns the fibres (an integral part of worsted spinning) and results in an even yarn.
Combing - this removes short fibres & vegetation.
Auto-leveller Gill – levels the thickness of the sliver. You can see from the photo below, that at this stage the fibre is clean, free of vegetation and is very even in the sliver. It now needs to be drawn out in a single thread or end.
Rover – the first stage of drawing or reducing the thickness of the sliver.
Spinning Frame – the final drawing and insertion of twist according to the desired specification of the yarn.
This stage produces a single end of yarn.
Twister – the plying together of 2 or more ends of yarn from the spinning frame.
Hanking – the winding off from bobbins of twisted yarn from the twister.
Dying – this is where we add the glorious colours – nearly 100 of them. And also where we give the yarn its final wash before packaging for sale or knitting into garments.
Hanking & Cone winding – this is for preparation of yarn for the knitting machines or for making into hanks for sale.
The Workroom at Wagtail Yarns - a very busy and colourful place to be