Your Fleece Crafted Into Fibre

Since 2010 Wild Earth Yarns has been processing fibre on contract for growers. You only need a minimum batch size of 150kgs of professionally scoured* fibre with no maximum limit. We can process single fibres, or blend your own special combination of wool and another fibre such as mohair, alpaca, silk or possum.

You bring the fleeces and we’ll make the yarn.

Our Process

We produce natural fibre yarns ideal for large and small-scale independent dyers to dye to their own specifications and colours. Yarns are supplied in hanks for dying.

The process of converting fleece to fibre takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks. These are the steps in the process:

Blending wool at Wild Earth Yarns, New Zealand

1. Blending

The fleece is placed in the blending machine where the fibre is opened up, and a water-soluble lubricant is added to reduce static and dust. From there the fibre is loaded into the carding machines which have a series of rollers with opposing teeth that force open the fibre.

2. Carding

There are two lines of carding machines. The first is for worsted and semi-worsted yarn fibres which produces a long sliver of yarn with aligned, parallel fibres. The second carding line produces woollen spun yarn which mixes the fibre, before they are sent for spinning.

Gilling wool and fibres at Wild Earth Yarns, New Zealand

3. Gilling

From the carding machines the worsted and semi-worsted fibre goes to be gilled. The gilling process has three steps. The first gilling machine removes the natural hooks in the wool and aligns the fibres while levelling the sliver weight. The second gill removes the hooks, aligns the fibres and reduces the sliver weight. The final gilling machine sets the weight for spinning.

4. Combing

The semi-worsted fibre is now ready for spinning, while the worsted (which is the most highly processed yarn) goes through another stage called combing. 
Combing removes the short fibre content and vegetable matter from the wool to create a smooth sleek yarn. Worsted fibre then undergoes two further gills.

5. Spinning

Now all the fibres (worsted, semi-worsted, fine and coarse woollen spun yarn) are ready for spinning. This stretches the fibre, adding a twist to give it strength. The last stage in the processing is twisting where individual yarns are combined to create greater strength and better presentation. We have a double-sided ring twister and can twist to any specification.

Finally, the yarn is wound onto cones for weaving looms, hanks for dying, and balls for knitting. The yarn is steamed which bulks the fibre and sets the twist. You can purchase all of these finished yarn products directly from us.

Have you got wool to be processed?

If you’re a wool grower or have over 150kgs of scoured wool* you’d like processed into yarn please fill out the form below.

*Canterbury Wool Scours, based in Washdyke, Timaru are local scourers who remove the dirt and grease from the fleece. Unscoured fleece can’t be processed as the grease clogs up the machinery.