Tumbling and Washing: Most incoming fiber is first sent to the tumbler to remove lose vegetable matter (VM), dirt, and any second cuts. The fleece is then washed and dried. Fiber weight loss is part of the process. Expected weight loss will usually be around 30% - 40%.
Picking: Cleaned fiber is sent through the picker to open the fiber in preparation for further processing. The blending of fibers and colors can be done at this stage for uniform consistency.
Fiber separator: This machine removes guard hair and VM from fine fiber. This machine is optional and not all fleeces require this process.
Carding: This machine is the core of the fiber mill. From this machine, batts, roving, center-pull bumps, and rug yarn can be produced. The blending of fibers can happen on the carder.
Draw Frame: Rovings from the carder are taken to the draw frame to create a roving that is uniform and consistent. The blending of multiple rovings can create a unique product.