We are often asked what exactly is a "mule-spun" yarn? The principle of the mule is to duplicate the motion of a hand spinner to retain the natural elasticity of lanolin-rich wool fibers. In hand spinning, the spinner's hand moves to and from the tip of a spinning bobbin. Raw wool fibers are drawn and spun between the tip of the bobbin and the spinner's fingertips. In mule spinning, a carriage containing a row of bobbins moves back and forth, simultaneously drawing and spinning a six foot length of carded roving attached to each bobbin.
The yarn that is spun has a softer twist and more loft. The traditional woolen system yarns are created which require only two plies for the standard worsted knitting weight. Mule spun yarns have a distinctive appearance and desirable homespun qualities.
Our custom processing services also include scouring services and WE can return your own fiber back to you in either roving or yarn. Roving requires NO minimum. However, yarns DO require 100# of washed fiber.
We inspect incoming wool shipments carefully. IN the interest of cost efficiency, we will likely process your wool along with smaller lots of similar wools from other growers. We do our best to mix your fleece with other lots of the same general type and quality. If you have more than 100 pounds of washed wool, please call us about how wool for roving-it can either be washed or unwashed - additional fees will apply if unwashed.
WE RETAIN THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY WOOL THAT DOES NOT MEET OUR QUALITY STANDARDS.
To prepare your fleece for shipment to us, Bartlettyarns ask that you skirt your fleece to a reasonable degree. In your interest, we refuse wool that is contaminated with hard clumps of manure tags; has excess dirt; chaff or wood shavings; or contains cockleburs or burdock of any kind. We do not accept wool that contains binder twine or plastic thread from feed bags. Do NOT send wool that has been painted for identification purposes; the paint does not fully dissolve in our special scouring process. Do not tie fleeces, even with paper twine; we charge extra to unty-ing fleeces. We refuse wool that is wet, has mildew, is infested with insects or insect eggs or that smells of mothballs. ( Insect sacks are about the size of dried rice grains, and appear singly or in clusters.)
Pack your wool so it can "breathe". Use burlap bags, ideally, or clean containers such as cardboard boxes, or grain bags that are not frayed. Don't smother your wool in tightly closed plastic bags because it may start to rot or "compost". Check with your shipper for local regu-lations about dimensions of shipping containers that they will handle for you. Secure your shipping containers with string or tape rather than with staples or wire.
Put your name and address on all sides, inside and outside of every container, telling us how many containers are in the shipment. Pre-pay all shipping charges because we do not accept collect shipments or C.O.D.'s. Please number containers consecutively - for example: "1 of 5", 2 of 5"…"5 of 5".
Check with us beforehand if you have fleece over five inches in length from breeds like Lincoln, Cotswold, Boarder Leicester or Scottish Highland Blackface.
If you send us washed wool to be carded into your own roving, be sure that you fleece is free enough of grease so that it does not feel sticky. Wash your fleece carefully and without agitating it, to avoid matting or felting fibers.
Send your processing instructions separately by first class mail to the "PO Box 36" address. Ship all wool to the "20 Water Street" address. Use our order blank or letter. Tell us the approximate net weight of your shipment, the number of containers, and the name of your shipper. Make certain all correspondence is in one name only. If we receive wool in your name and the order in your fame name or business name, it can be confusing and delay your order. We cannot drop ship or collect payment from a third party; all of the transactions must be handled by one person. Do not plan to leave your wool with us for more than two months without giving us your processing instructions.
We fill orders in sequence by date. We do not start processing an order until both your order instructions and wool has been received by us, and your order is clearly understood.
We will notify you when your order is ready for shipment by sending our invoice. Upon receipt of payment in full, we will ship your order. Please contact us if you cannot pay promptly. Under NO circumstances will an order be sent without payment. Also, please try not to ask us to change your order once placed. Bartlettyarns puts up orders in stages as the yarn becomes available from our mill; we can not easily unpack the complete orders.
We accept Master Card/Visa/Discover. Incidental charges are billed separately and are due on receipt. We ship F.O.B. Harmony, ME by USPS and UPS. No minimum orders, prices are on a per order basis. Customers may pool orders for lower price brackets. Pooled orders must be handled by one party and shipped to one address only. We may impose a service charge for cancelled orders or if special work has been done for you. If you are not satisfied, we must hear from you within 30 days. We do not accept returns without prior authorization. Coned yarns must be ordered in one pound cones, we may adjust orders accordingly. A 10% or $10.00 minimum may be imposed on returns that are not our fault.
If you bring wool in person to Harmony, please plan to arrive by 2 pm to have it weighed in on the same day. We are open Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 4 pm, except holidays. Phone ahead if you are delayed or are in doubt about our business hours. If you arrive before 11 am, we can sometime arrange for a mill tour. Call Lindsey ahead of time for school and group tours! Harmony is on Route 150 between Skowhegan and Guilford, ME. Our historic mill is located just south of the Village, on the west side of Higgins Stream, at 20 Water Street. All tours are free!
For more information, download the Custom Processing 2013 PDF.