Monday, 13 August 2012

Visit at Qualicum Bay Fibre Works


A trip to Vancouver Island for a bit of a holiday at Kingfisher Oceanside Resort in Courtenay, BC, meant that we were within 40 minutes driving to Qualicum Bay Fibre Works. I had sent some mohair to Anna Runnings to have carded into roving, and was curious about the process. An e-mail to Anna before we left home, and an appointment was set for the visit.

Anna lives up in the hills from the ocean, and gave excellent driving instructions. Here are a few pictures of her business.
This is the wash tub line - there arefleeces in net bags in each tub. To the right is a large drying room with netted shelves and fan.

After drying, the fleece goes to the carder. Anna said the carding machine dates back to the 1870s, the others are new in comparison (1960s) and she knows every quirk of each machine. She rarely puts fleece through the picker, saying that the carder does such a good job, it is usually an unnecessary step, unless specifically requested.
After carding, the fleece goes to the machine that makes the batts into roving of various sizes, depending on the customer request.

This may be the end of the process, but it may not - if a customer has requested the fibre to be spun into yarn. This was the machine of all machines, and Anna said it definitely has its moments - she has to baby it well, until, as she said "it will condescendingly spin the fibre into yarn".


My mohair was treated very well - it is a bit of a wait but you can understand why. Anna will answser all your questions via e-mail. I highly recommend her service.