First the bales go to our dyehouse where it is dyed to the shade required and dried. For quality purposes we dye all fibre before it enters the spinning process. This is gentler on the fibre meaning the finished product will be softer while it also ensures a more consistent and repeatable dyeing. We have the latest dyehouse controllers meaning we can dye at lower temperatures which in turn is better for both the fibre and the environment.
Our experienced colour department will then assemble the blend for blending. These may be mixtures or solids and for either stock service or custom colours. In either case we pride ourselves on our exact matching and repeatability of batches. In all cases we take a shade sample when the blend is on the machine and if we are not 100% satisfied it matches our reference, we will take it off the machine and re-blend it.
Once the shade has passed, the rest of the bales will reach the carding machines. During carding the fibres are aligned as they pass over a multitude of meticulously set wired rollers. This process turns the fibre into slubbing and mixture shades are defined during this. Our aim is to produce the most even slubbing possible.
All the bobbins produced from carding enter the spinning department. We spin all of our yarns on modern mules which we consider produces a rounder yarn which avoids damaging the fibres and preserves the soft handle. It is a labourous method but we undertake it to ensure the best yarn.
After spinning, the yarn is now on small cops and needs to be wound on to larger cones and cleared of any imperfections. The yarn is wound through detectors that identify any thick/thin variations or coloured fibre contamination which if found, will be taken out and the yarn spliced back to the perfect form. Once this process has been completed any yarn that is destined to be plied can be twisted together in our twisting department.
During the processes we have quality control checking for, amongst other things, colour fastness, yarn evenness, strength of the yarn, count changes and shade variation.