First Time Processing Fiber?

First time processing with us or with any fiber mill? Don’t worry! We love working with first-timers (and veterans!) of the mill process, and recognize that every mill has their own quirks to how they accept and process fleeces. Read on to see a typical customer request and order process below for Twisted Sunset Sisters Fiber Mill!

Preparing for a Quote:

The following steps are necessary to get a quote and confirm your order with us:

  1. Skirting your fleeces
  2. Weighing your fleeces
  3. Selecting your products/goods
  4. Filling out a Quote Request Form
  5. Making your deposit and signing your processing contract to confirm your spot on our waitlist

Skirting your Fleece:

The first step in preparing for a quote is to skirt your fleeces. Skirting is the process of laying a fleece out on a table or other large flat surface to pre-pick out as much of the unwanted matter (hay, grass, poop, sticks, etc.) as possible before processing. This benefits you, as our mill processes orders via incoming weight. The less waste you start with, the less our machines will throw out, and the more you save! (And also your fleece’s products will be even better quality.) Our machines can remove some of this unwanted material, but they cannot handle the amount in most non-skirted fleeces. Check out this short video on how to skirt a fleece.

Weighing Your Fleeces:

Once your fleeces are skirted, you’ll need to weigh each fleece before requesting an estimate. This doesn’t need to be a super precise measurement, as we will weigh the fleeces at the mill with industrial scales, but a general weight will allow us to create your quote since charges are based on weight. The simplest way to do this is to weigh yourself on a bathroom scale, and then weight yourself holding a fleece in a clear plastic bag and subtract the two numbers. Once the fleeces have been delivered to the mill, we’ll re-weigh them and update your quote so that your final payment amount is accurate.

We can work with any size fleeces, but we do (as of 2023) charge a $5 small-batch processing fee on any fleece that is 2 pounds or less (this is to help cover the added time spend in setting up each machine). Now comes the fun stuff: deciding what products you want from each fleece!

Selecting Your Products:

The MOST fun part of the ordering process is getting to pick out what you want for your product(s). As a “mini mill,” we can greatly customize your order to suit you and your farms needs. We offer an array of different products which you can learn more about on our Products page!

Once you have an idea of what you want, you’ll want three pieces of information for each fleece that you want us to process:

  • Description of Fleece
  • Weight
  • Desired Product(s)

And Example can be like this:

  • White alpaca fleece (Cinder) – 5.6 pounds into 2-ply sport weight
  • Black BFL fleece (Mable) – 8.2 pounds into roving
  • Dark Grey Mohair (Tabitha) – 5 pounds into 50% roving, 50% 2-ply fingering weight

Filling Out the Quote Request Form:

Requesting a quote is an easy, free process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to do (if you’ve gathered the information detailed above ahead of time). Fill out our online Quote Request Form, and we’ll get started building your estimate!

If you’re unsure of what products you’d like, go ahead and fill out the form anyways with as much information as you can – we’ll reach out to you via your preferred communication method to help walk you through the rest of the order process.

Deposit & Wait List:

Most mills – ours included – run on a “waitlist” or backlog of orders. On average, we run with a 3 to 4 month estimated wait for new orders. Sometimes the waitlist may run slower, or more quickly, depending on the season.

To get in line and on this waiting list, we’ll work up an estimate for your order, and then you’ll pay a 50% deposit and sign a processing contract to reserve your spot.

We’ll contact you a few weeks before we’re ready to process your order to schedule a drop-off or shipping time.

If there are any major changes to your estimate (ex: moldy fleece or too short of staple length), or recommendations we might have after we get our hands on the fiber, we’ll reach out to discuss them with you first.

Once your order is completed, you’ll pay the remaining balance for your order before pick-up or prior to shipping the goods back!