fiber containing large amounts of vegetable matter, will be rejected.
are asking is for customers to pre-skirt and monkey-groom their fiber before
shipping it to us.
Prepping fiber before it’s sent is a big boost to you!
You won’t believe how much money you save by getting rid of any bad fiber and VM, both in processing cost and in the shipping to us. The time it takes to get it back will decrease and the product you get back will even be an improved quality!…..If that is even possible. This will also allow us to focus more on details in the carding, to get that look of color arrangements you may want, etc..
Ok, what the heck is skirting and monkey-grooming some may ask? Well it’s just what it sounds like. Please though, don’t eat what ya find!
is simply going around the outside edge of the fleece while it’s laid out
open, weathered side up.
The fiber in
this area is crunchy and coarse and has the appearance of over-lapping
If your britch wool is clean of manure and grease tags, save it till you have a couple of pounds and then process it as a batch. Britch wool makes great braided, and woven rugs. I have several pairs of socks that are made out of it. Jamie calls them my ‘butt hair’ socks. I have bags of wool in my studio labeled ‘matt’s butt hair’. Definitely a conversation starter for visitors.
Now the manure tags are crunchy ornaments with wool hanging out. LOL…..easy to spot!
skirting, another area to get rid of is the grease tags.
tags are usually found on the sides of the fleece around the belly area.
I have no
way of testing this theory. It’s just a thought. Grease tags are very easy
to spot when you have them.
At the opposite end of the crunchy ornaments, between the areas of grease balls, is the neck area.
this can be absolutely horrible with VM (vegetable matter).
A thought to
keep in mind is that your roving is only going to be the quality of your
lowest quality fiber.
you have left after skirting is usually night and day different from the
mess you started with.
We use to
call this ‘picking’, but that’s a different operation of processing and we
were confusing people.
Plus people know exactly what we mean, and how to do it without explanation.
I am going to give a little explano’ though.
The way we
do it here is to tear out of the skirted fleece an area about the size of a
You will also see the second cuts go flying. If the fleece you are working with is of an open lock structure, and won’t hold together for shaking. Then you're up the creek without a cracker. It will all have to be done by hand.
given your small area a good shake, lay it out again on your lap or skirting
I have found that you can’t snack on chips while you're doing this.
The lanolin on your fingers seems to transfer easily onto greasy foods.
It gives the Doritos a bitter taste.
For a re-cap:
step1):Skirting: step 2): Monkey-grooming
Pullout: Manure tags shake out fleece
Britch pick out any VM you can
Grease tags pick out any second
Once your done with your skirting and monkey-grooming, your ready to bag up your prepped fiber. Inside the bag put a note with any information you may want for the future. I would suggest the animal’s name, breed, and year of shearing. Also it saves time if you also label the bag as ‘prepped’. Later on you may have a storage area full of fleeces. It’s nice to see at a glance whether you’ve done anything to each fleece. So it might be handy to write this on the outside of the bag also.