Roving? Batts? Bumps? Oh my! If you’re not sure what you’re looking to have made from your fleece, look no further. Check out all of the various products we can make at the mill, with photos from some of our previous orders.
Roving products are produced at the carder, and are frequently used by hand-spinners, needle-felters and other fiber artists. The overall marketability of roving products tends to be smaller than that of yarn products, as roving products typically require a more specialized set of skills to work with them. Check out the 5 types of roving products we currently make at our mill!
These are thin layers of fiber that are rolled and compressed to form a fluffy batt. Due to their standardized form and being self-contained, batts can be used by fiber artists as well as providing options for insulating, quilt-making, and more.
The cloud refers to a bag of completely-opened up fiber locks. Each lock of fiber has been picked and separated, and is now just a nice lofty mountain of fluff. Some hand-spinners prefer to spin directly from the cloud!
Roving is a long strand of semi-aligned fibers. It is the first essential step towards making yarn at the mill, but it is also popular for hand-spinners to create yarn from directly. It often is separated into clear plastic bags as shown below.
Bumps are roving which has been wrapped into a center-pull cylinder. These look a bit more “finished” than a bag of roving, and are easier to store as they are self-contained.
Roving can be further thinned and aligned via a process called “pin-drafting.” This lightly combs the fibers so they are mostly aligned in one direction, but is not quite considered combed top (where 100% of the fibers are aligned). Pin-drafted roving is more consistent than regular roving, and tends to be easier to spin from. The roving at the top of the image below is pin-drafted, and the bottom roving is traditional roving from the carder.
Yarn products utilize the entire mill to be processed (12 different machines, and some more than once!) and therefore yarn also has the highest cost of processing. However, yarn is one of the most versatile fiber products! From crocheting, felting, and knitting, to tapestry work, weaving, and more, the sky truly is the limit for creating with yarn. The overall marketability of yarn products tends to be very high as well, because so many crafts use yarn as a working material.
This selection refers to how many single strands are twisted into one finished yarn. Single-ply yarn isn’t overly common in the US, and almost all commercial box-store yarn is at least 2-ply. Our mill can make up to 4-ply yarn. Thinner yarns (sport weight or less) tend to be 2-ply, while bulkier yarns (worsted or greater) tend to be more consistent when 3-ply or more.
Lopi is a technique of making bulky “yarn” using a long thin roving strand. It’s a typically single-ply yarn that has a very unique look and experience, but it can also be plied together for an even bulkier yarn. Traditional lopi yarn is made from 100% Icelandic wool, but you can use other fiber types (such as alpaca or other wools) to create a similar effect. Below you can see some 100% alpaca lopi we made at our mill!
Rug yarn is great for lower-quality fibers, fleeces with high vegetable matter, or those with lots of short fibers. Our rug yarn maker twists the fibers around a thick, 8-ply cotton core, which creates a nice, bulky yarn (as shown below). Using a thick 8-ply cotton core, the fibers are twisted around the outside of this cotton core to give a very large bulky yarn. This yarn is great for finger or arm knitting/crocheting, and also makes super soft rugs. You can also do fun color layouts to get a semi-self-striping appearance or gradients throughout the bump. This product comes on a large tube or “bump.”
These are finishing touch options for yarn, which sets the format for how you’d like to use or sell the yarn. In the US, the skein is the most popular of finishing options, though many other countries prefer the cake or cone. Weavers tend to prefer coned yarn, while other crafters tend to prefer either cakes or skeins. But all can be used for any yarn-related craft. These products can all be made to contain standard measurements of yarn (example 100 yards per skein) for easier pricing.
Yarn from either a cone or skein can be finished into a small cylindrical cake. These cakes are typically used via a center-pull strand, and have the advantage of not rolling all over or requiring a yarn bowl to keep contained when in use. Cakes have two flat sides, which makes them useful for stacking and storage.
Yarn wrapped around a cardboard cone. This can be set onto a peg or the floor, and then directly crafted off of. Weavers tend to like cones as they can be placed on pegs for fast, easy creation of warps.
The most popular of form of yarn in the US, skeins also require more work from the crafter to become craft-ready. Skeins are large loops of yarn that are usually twisted into the shape shown in the photos below. As crafting directly from the skein loop can create a tangled mess, often crafters will use tools such as a yarn swift and ball winder to transform the skein into a cake before they begin their projects.
Below are other services that we can offer in addition to the standard processing of fleeces.
Dryer balls are a great alternative to dryer sheets and provide a natural way to keep clothes softer, reduce static and decrease wrinkles. Plus it’s a great use for “waste” fibers from other machines or super short fibers too. We recommend at least three balls per dryer load for maximum effectiveness.
We will design out skein wrappers featuring your logo and additional sizing information about the yarn. These will be printed on cardstock and provided to you in an envelope along with your yarn order! All you’ll need to do is add a price and attach it to the skein! Example of our TSS yarn label is below.