The Equipment

   We did some research on what equipment was available and found quite a few options.  The price tag also reflected the various choices out there.  The first machines we looked at was kind of expensive for our pockets but it was exactly the kind of stuff we needed.  So we made an appointment for a visit and see the machines.  The next night we did another web search and found some more machines, but this time they were cheaper and they had a whole line of textile equipment.  The battle plan was set....check out the first company.  Learn the language. Then go to the second, cheaper one and buy the machines.  Like all well laid plans........they flopped!  The first companyís equipment was good......not just good, but really good.  We ended up not even checking out the other optionís equipment.  So what machines did we buy?

LOL......well the McDermottís M26 of course!

This machine turns itself on and runs the wool, getting it ready for us the next day to ship out......LOL......I only wish!!!!   All joking aside though, it is really a great set of machines.  There is practically no fiber loss.  Itís so finely tuned that it just canít run wool with any grease in it.  If we try to run greasy wool, the roving we get looks more like lumpy oatmeal than a fuzzy snake.  If there is small VM (vegetable matter) in the wool, it seems to just kick as much out as it can.  There is still some VM in the wool...........but as the saying canít make a silk purse out of a sowís ear, only a velvet one!  So keep this in mind!  We canít get it all out.  Well we probably could if we give it an acid bath like some mills do, but we wonít.  So donít even think about begging ....LOL

Ok next question is usually how small of an amount can you do....or what about partially felted fleeces.  The answer to both is ĎIt doesnít matter.í  We were given 4 bags of cashmere by a friend to play with.  the bags were around 4 to 6 ounces.  We ran one bag through several times just Ďplayingí with it.  Yep, you read it!  We ran upwards of 6 ounces several times.  Guess what..... we still have about 3 ounces left!  So I would say there is NO minimum amount we can run.  Now about the felting......if itís not one big ball.......we can probably run it ok.   Canít guarantee the results though.......itís that sowís ear thing again.

All this wonderful machinery is located in an old 50ís gas station.  It still needs some renovating, but that will come with time.  Itís really great for our needs.  The equipment and washing areas are in the mechanicís bay side and the office and store will be located in the other half.  The fancy store and state-of-the-art office( LOL maybe more like state-of-the-pocket), is still a work in progress.  But one day!


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