Craig Sebring

Feb 142013

Getting The Most From Your Fiber Processing Dollar

Processing refines your raw fleece and prepares it for products or gifts, either woven (yarn/knit) or non-woven (felt and felt fabric). This processing adds value to your fiber. I do everything I can to make your fiber the best it can be. But I have to be practical and cannot take so long as to delay other clients. So, I can use some help from you.

I ask that your fiber has been skirted. That means you have handled your fiber and removed, on a gross level, undesirable matter. What does this mean?

Remove foreign matter like poop, mud clumps and muddy tips, straw/hay and other veggie matter, grain pellets, rocks, toe nails, sticks, clothespins etc. Remove undesirable fiber matter like belly hair or large clumps of guard/primary, or matted fiber and shorts. Remember the old saying ‘garbage in, garbage out’. The less I start with the less there will be in what I return to you.

Skirting can save a little of your processing dollar since initial processing fees are based on INCOMING weight. But, more significant, is the quality of the processed fiber. If veggie makes its way through to the end it can negatively affect whatever its end value.

Some tips to get the most out of your fiber:

  • Cria tip if at all possible.
  • Remove or mitigate veggie and dirt contaminants around the barn, stall, paddock and pastures. Minimize pasture areas under trees. Sweep out stalls and rake paddock areas especially when getting close to shearing time.
  • Clean the animal prior to shearing. It is a lot easier to get a lot of “stuff” out of the fiber while still on the animal. Just before shearing some people use a leaf blower (do this outside the barn). We like to use a shop-vac and do it inside the barn. Either of these gets significant dust, dirt and veggie off the fleece. BTW, your shearer will thank you too!
  • Already shorn. Either use a fiber sorter or do a quick skirt.
  • Sweep or vacuum the shearing area between animals.
  • Tips up. Look for muddy tips, excessive guard/primary hairs, and of course veggie matter.
  • Cut end up (tips down) look for short cuts, skin or skin flakes.  I like to grab a bunch of fiber and gently pull at the cut ends with my fingers. Shorts come right off.

Then, finally, when getting ready to bag up to send to processing, handle all the fiber. Quick and easy way is to grab handfuls (not too much) and squeeze. You will be surprised how easily you can find veggie (crunch-crunch) or other stuff that you missed on visual inspection.

Remember to make sure the fleece has dried and is not wet before you tighten or seal the bag. If long term storing I like to put a dryer sheet in each bag to help deter moths and other bugs.

Bagging your fleece
I prefer clear plastic bags. Not the milky white or black garbage bags.  For some reason the milky white bags create a lot more static than the clear ones. And I want to see what is in the bag.

Put your name, animal name and any pertinent info on a sheet of paper or 3×5 card in the bag so I can easily see it from the outside. Over communication is good. So if you want to write info on the bag also, great!

Shipping / Transporting
If shipping or transporting you can save a lot of space by removing as much air from the bag as possible. Shipping charges are based on space more than weight. USPS Parcel Post seems to be the most economical in my experience.

I hope this helps. Feel free to contact us at (425) 248-8967 with questions or to discuss further.

Now sit back and your (even more) beautiful fiber will be coming back to you soon!


Evergreen Fleece Processing, LLC

Apr 222012

We provide needle felting service with our 66 inch FeltLOOM machine. Felted sheets or fabric can be as thin and shear that are “see thru” to rugs. Max thickness is about ½ inch.  Most common is what we call thin to medium felt fabric. These thicknesses can be sewn by most home machines.

We usually felt fiber to a supporting fabric. The supporting fabric is called “scrim” in the biz. I use cotton or cotton/poly broadcloth most of the time because it’s very economical. Other fabrics like silk may have an additional charge.  But I also use burlap when making rugs and some other items.

Support fabric usually ends up hidden in whatever is made from the felt. However, get some interesting printed fabric and felt some fiber to it for some very interesting seasonal and or unique products! Have some old silk or faux silk scarves? Have some old lacy table cloths or doilies? A great re-purpose project.

Standard felt sheets are around 42 x 50 inches finished size. We can make sheets as long as you like but not wider than about 66 inches. Sheets larger than standard size may have a different charge than standard. I leave the raw, uneven edges on the fabric as many customers may use that for some effect in what they are making. I can trim the edges if requested.

We offer design service for your felt sheet/fabric for additional charge. Design may be abstracts, stripes or whatever is in your or my imagination. Check out some examples on the gallery page or come visit us here or at a show/event.

We have a near professional steam iron/press with a 33 by 11 inch pressing surface. But the best part is it provides and even 100 pounds of pressing. It would be very hard to accomplish this by hand. The end result is a very smooth finish on the fabric. This may be an option depending on what you are intending to make from you felt fabric.  We can provide  this pressing service for a nominal fee.


Apr 152012

Blending is done for several reasons and applicable whether I’m making roving or batts or felt.

Fiber that will be blended with your fiber can come from you or we can supply for an additional charge. They can be natural, synthetic, or some combination. Combining different types of fibers generally enhances the end result.

Some examples of blending are: huayaca to suri alpaca, finer sheep wools to huayaca or suri alpaca, alpaca to “soften” sheep wool, medium sheep wool to alpaca for rugs or insoles, and some interesting synthetics to any fiber.

We often get requests to blend several colors into roving, batt, or felt. As above, the colors may come from you or we can supply.

Just call or email with your blending needs or questions. I might be able to do a test run for you. I will call you to confirm your instructions or offer suggestions.


Apr 212011

Thank you to all our old and new friends who visited us during Fiber Fusion 2011 held at the Evergreen State Fair Grounds in Monroe WA. This show served as the Grand Opening for Evergreen Fleece Processing. On display were examples of batts, roving, felt sheets, and the “Do you throw this away? ” exhibit.

“Do you throw this away?” demonstrated that the 40 to 60% of your fleece composed of 2nds and 3rds can be processed. We were happy to see the interest and many people brought their friends over to see this display during the course of the show. Everyone seemed amazed and intrigued. Also important, we provided several ideas for generating products made from this felted fiber, like eyeglass cases, shoe/boot insoles. Many good conversations and many ideas flowed. Truly, this is “No Fiber Left Behind”.

Give us a call or email to discuss the possibilities.