Friday, June 17, 2016

The Dawning of HeartFelt Fleece & Fiber

It has been a while since I have written on this blog and decided that I've missed it. I had hosted a morning radio talk show for a year, and had participated in the NaNoWriMo writing challenge, and I think my words were simply all used up!

The retail portion of the mill
But, now I am back and I have so much to share. In January 2015, I opened a small wool processing facility and fiber studio in the heart of the bluegrass region of Kentucky. I had heard that my favorite, large and wonderful wool mill in Ohio was going out of business, and that would leave me and many shepherds without a place to process their fleeces. I began to brainstorm and daydream of opening my own facility.

Just about the time when the business plan had been accepted and a facility had been found, I got word that the mill in Ohio was going to stay open. While this was wonderful for the wool industry, my dream was squelched. But, in all that turmoil, I realized that I really did want to open a wool mill and work with fiber every day! I began to look at the prospect of opening a mini-mill with all the equipment necessary to process wool and fiber, but on a smaller scale. I called small mills across our country, spoke with owners, and learned from them what was and was not working.  Bit by bit, pieces began to fall into place and I was on my way to opening a fiber processing facility.

Wool arrived in large burlap bags
In February 2015, as I began to order processing equipment, I was contacted by the Kentucky Cloth project, a project that was trying to blend hemp with wool to create a viable fabric. They were hoping that my mill would be functioning by the time shearing season came. They asked me if I'd process KY sheep wool so that it would stay Kentucky Proud. I agreed and weeks later, before anything else was in the building, the wool arrived.

The first thing into the mill was a washing machine and I began washing the fleeces. I will talk about that in another post, but it was a long and arduous task. Ha! I also got a dehumidifier and ran that around the clock to take out as much water as the wet wool around the facility was putting into the air!

More equipment began to arrive, painting was done to the wall, new flooring, and so much more. The mill began to take shape and all that wool was getting closer and closer to being ready to send off to where it was going to be combined with the hemp.
Some of the wool after washed, but not yet picked!

I will tell you that the mill opened in the summer of 2015, and we have been growing stronger each month.

The next several blogs that I write will be taking you on the first year's journey with HeartFelt Fleece & Fiber.  If you'd like to jump ahead and see what we're up to you can go to: and check out our website. Or you may stop by the shop in Cynthiana, KY and visit us!

But, I do hope you'll stay tuned and check back to see the next post.

Thanks for stopping by,

No comments:

Post a Comment