The Canadian Co-opertaive Wool Growers, is full of wool. But what is done with this wool? Some of Canadian Co-Operative Wool Growers' raw wool is sent to Briggs & Little Woolen Mills, Custom Woolen Mills, and MacAuslands Woolen Mills to create yarn, blankets, and much more!
How Does the Wool Turn into Yarn and Blankets?
Each product starts as raw wool and they go through a process which allows the raw wool to be turned into the finished product.
First, the raw fleece is sorted and washed. By washing the wool, dirt, oil and grease are removed. Then, after washing, the clean wool is dried.
Second, if required, the wool is dyed. This is where colour is added to the wool. This is done by using natural dyes from pigments found in plants and bugs, or chemical dyes created from a laboratory. Sometimes this is done after the spinning and twisting of the wool.
Third, the wool goes through aprocess called carding, which is the most important step. Wool carding is where the wool is brushed to straighten the wool fibres. The wool is fed into the carding machine where the fibers are aligned by wire teeth. This allows the colours of the wool to blend, the fibers to be straightened, and for 99% of vegetable matter to be removed.
Fifth, skeining and pressing. This step makes the yarn more relaxed instead of creating tension. The wool is wound to a skein when making yarn. However, when making a blanket, the wool is wrapped in a loom instead of a skein.
Sixth, this is the final step. The yarn or blanket is finally packaged and shipped. The Real Wool Shop receives these finished products and they are now ready to be tagged and sold!