Monday, October 7, 2013

Dakota Fiber Mill - almost local

When I walked into Dakota Fiber Mill, I knew that my wool had come to a good place.

Chris Armbrust, the owner, had four huge sinks for washing fleeces, rack after rack of drying fleeces, and in the center of the building a carding machine, gradually spilling out a rope of beautiful brown roving. Her carding machine was at least four times the size of mine. It self- fed the picked wool into the cards and fed the carded wool through a small hole to create the roving automatically. It was magical.

After she’s washed and carded a fleece, Chris consolidates three batches of carded wool into one. Then she runs the carded fiber up over a pipe near the ceiling and down into the spinning machine. The back half of the Mill was an amazing spinning machine that reached from floor to ceiling. “It’s only a part of the original,” Chris said. “I couldn’t afford the entire machine and didn’t have room for it either.”

Chris has an unbelievable turn-around time. Her carded roving is beautiful and her three ply sock yarn was spun tightly enough so that it should wear really well. After years of frustration with slow turn-around times at mills and mixed up orders, it is a delight to work with a person who checks in by email if she has a question, is flexible and willing to try new techniques, and who works fast. The best part for me is that the Dakota Fiber Mill is only an hour’s drive away. I love to do things “locally”.

1 comment:

  1. I have used Dakota Fiber Mill as well. she guaranteed a two month turn around and my wool came back beautiful! I wouldn't go anywhere else!