Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do You Have a Minimum Lot Size?
A: Although anything smaller than about two pounds may be impractical, Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery currently does not have a minimum lot size, small lot fee, or a set-up charge of any kind.
Q: What Equipment Does Your Mill Use?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery has a picker, a worsted carder, a pin-drafter, a spin/twist frame, and a skein winder. Our equipment, provided by Carolina Specialty, Inc., is new and state-of-the-art with digital motor controllers for superior control and reproducibility. We do not have de-hairing equipment.
Q: Are You a Mini-Mill?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery is not a mini-mill--our equipment is larger in both scale and capacity than mini-mill equipment. Stop by and have a look.
Q: What is a "Semi-Worsted" Fiber Mill?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery uses a semi-worsted process for producing yarns. This means that we produce yarn from pin-drafted sliver rather than combed top. Combed top is a particular type of sliver in which all the individual fibers are the same length and all short fibers are removed. Our pin-drafted sliver contains fibers of all lengths uniformly blended together.
Q: Can You Process 100% Alpaca Fiber?
A: Generally, yes. We can process 100% prime alpaca into roving, batts, and yarn. Unusually short and silky fibers may be unable to form a cohesive roving for pin-drafting and cannot be spun into yarn. Although we do not spin 100% alpaca seconds into yarn, we are usually able to process them into roving or batts.
Q: Do You Provide Skirting Services?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery will not skirt your fleeces prior to processing. Anything you don't want fully incorporated into your finished product should be removed prior to drop-off. The more vegetable matter (VM) you remove prior to processing, the better your products will be.
Q: Can I Scour My Own Fiber?
A: Yes, if you are having it carded into batts or roving.
A: No, if you are having it spun into yarn. If you scour your own fiber for carding, it must be grease-free and soap-residue-free prior to processing. Ask us about successful scouring methods.
Q: When Can I Drop-Off My Fiber?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery is open daily. We ask that you schedule an appointment whenever you visit the mill to ensure we are at a good stopping point to receive visitors. We often can accommodate weekend and evening drop-offs and pick-ups as well. Just ask!
Q: What Types of Yarn Can You Make?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery can spin lace weight to bulky. Most yarns we spin are 2-ply or 3-ply, and we are happy to talk to you about other types of yarn. We have successfully processed sheep wool (including Icelandic), alpaca, mohair, pygora, angora, and llama.
Q: Do You Have a Minimum and Maximum Staple Length?
A: Good question. Short fiber can be processed if it has sufficient crimp. Two inches is probably a practical minimum, but there may be exceptions. We do not process fiber with a staple length in excess of eight inches.
Q: Do You Provide Custom Dyeing Services?
A: Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery does not dye fiber. We will process fiber that has been dyed elsewhere provided it is color-fast and not greasy or sticky.
Q: Can We Watch You Process Fiber in the Mill?
A: For safety reasons, we will not operate our equipment when visitors are in the mill. We like to concentrate on YOU when you are here rather than on the machines.
Q: Will You Process My Dog Hair Into Yarn?