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Loch's Maple Fiber Mill, Inc.
143 Cokely Road
Springville, Pa 18844

Phone - 570-965-2679

Contact Us!

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[Incoming] [Washing] [Picking] [Carding] [Pin

Mill Tour

The photos on this page show the processes we perform and some of the equipment Loch's Fiber Mill has invested in. Our equipment, along with the attention to detail we give your fiber, ensures that you will receive the highest possible quality product.

We have chosen to go with Custom Built Textech as our equipment supplier. We have equipped our machines with sophisticated electronic speed controls which allow us great flexibility when processing your fiber.

The speed controls on our Picker and Carder result in a staple length requirement of 2 to 8 inches - and with some fibers this can go up to 10 inches!

We Do Not Need to Cut Your Fiber

[Incoming] [Washing] [Picking] [Carding] [Pin

Incoming Fiber

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A bag of unwashed and

Washing

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Our Hydro Extractor - Removes

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Our Washing Station - Uses

Picking

Fiber picking is the next process following washing where the fiber is "Picked" or "Opened". This process opens up dense clumps of fiber and teases out any entanglements prior to fiber carding. Fiber may also be blended at this stage to achieve an homogenous product and to blend different fibers in the desired proportions.

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An unopened lock of fiber

Jamie feeding the fiber into

Fiber exiting the picker.

Fiber after picking.

CardingFiber Carding separates the fibers, then arranges them to a high degree of parallelization, delivering them to the outfeed in a consistently even manner. This controllable linear density stream is custom set for the desired thickness of batts or roving.

Other functions that carding can accomplish include blending, preparation for felting and preparation for hand-spinners. The output of the carder can be a fine web of fiber which is accumulated in the form of a Batt or more usually processed immediately into a Roving, also called a sliver, in preparation for spinning. Our carder also kicks out most guard hairs and vegetable matter (in your quality fibers).

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Carder Infeed

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Fiber Blending

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Carder Outfeed

Pin Drafting

The fiber drafting process, performed on our pin drafter, is the essential link between fiber carding and fiber spinning. During this process the fibers are further refined in their alignment making the linear density or the weight per unit length more defined and consistent to achieve spinning a yarn of predetermined thickness. This process can also be used to blend in different colors in such a way that they produce variegated yarn when spun. Pin Drafting is what Makes our finished Product semi worsted.

All Roving from loch's is put through the pin drafter and is included in the price for roving, it is not an extra charge. We do this because the pin drafter makes the fiber easier to draft for the hand spinner, makes the sliver hold together better, as well as putting it into a coil to eliminate the chance of tangling (when properly handled). Randy and Jamie feel this creates a better finished quality product for your fibers.
 

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Randy operating the pin drafter.

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Randy inspecting a custom blend

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Pin drafter output. Fiber is

Spinning

Fiber spinning converts the roving into a single ply yarn. We perform this operation on our sophisticated, custom modified 20-spindle spinning machine which gives us control over twist per inch, yarn thickness and production rate.  The variables, staple length, fiber type, blend percentages, micron count, yarn count, draft, twist and spindle speed, must all be taken into account when designing the structure of the yarn to be produced.

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Coils of roving/sliver feeding the

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Spinner in operation.

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Another view of our spinner.

Plying

Plying is twisting two or more single threads together, in the opposite direction from which they were spun. Plying spins what is called an S-twist into the yarn. There are several variations on the method of plying, which affect the texture and appearance of the finished yarn. Fiber plying of multiple color singles can be used to produce designer yarns.

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Our Plyer

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Skeining

Skeining removes the yarn from the bobbin, loosely coils it and neatly ties it up. Skeining is required for both singles and plied yarns in order to set in the twist. Skeined yarn is the form you want it in if you plan to dye it, sell it or use it in your own projects.

We produce 2 yard skeins. We also take the time to calculate yardage and give you 4 ounce skeins not 200 yard skeins (unless requested).  We want your yarn to be ready to use or label when you receive it.

All Skeins are washed, dried and twisted before we return them to you.  Your yarn will also be labeled with any information we have such as the animal's name (if you included entered it on the form), yards per skein, weight of skein, yarn size (lace, fingering, sport etc.) and wraps per inch. While this information may not mean anything to some, including it on a label for yarn you are trying to sell will make it easier for your consumers to know how much they need for their project.

 

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A bobbin of yarn ready

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A rack of skeined yarn.

Finished Goods

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Skeins of Yarn packaged and