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Micron and Finished Yarn Quality - Are They Related?

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Micron and finished yarn quality – are they related? We did a recent study that showed, Yes, micron and uniformity of micron are related to finished yarn quality. We evaluated skeins of yarn that were spun in our mill and compared these results to histogram data. The skeins were evaluated using a scoring system where the handle, brightness, loft, and twist consistency were each assigned a value between 1 and 5.  Uniformity of micron was measured using the histogram SD (standard deviation) value.

The results were similar to what we had guessed they would be, but with a little twist (no pun intended). We found that fleeces with average micron diameter of 22 or less almost always had a soft hand, and the uniformity of micron is not related to the softness of the skein in these lower micron fleeces. In fleeces with micron of 23 or more, the uniformity of micron is more important than the actual micron in influencing the softness of the skein. In other words, fleeces with what we consider to be high in micron (greater than 26), had a soft hand if the micron SD was low (less than 4.0). Fleeces that were high in micron and were not uniform in micron (had a SD greater than 4.0) felt scratchy to our skin and scored low in handle.

This confirmed what we see in the skeins we make in our mill – higher micron fleeces can produce soft, very nice yarn, as long as there is not a big spread in micron in the fleece.



Spring Harvest Fiber Mill is a family-owned and operated fiber mill located in the sunny Yakima Valley of Central Washington. 

Owners Bob and Danise Cathel are committed to milling alpaca and other fibers into luxurious, soft and useful end products. They are avid fiber artists and love working with all types of fiber, with alpaca being their favorite. They also enjoy caring for their 35 alpacas at their farm, Silbury Hill Alpacas. Day-to-day operations of the mill include the whole family: Bob and Danise, daughter Diane, son Anthony, daughter-in-law Sarah, and good friend Levi Burnes.

The Cathels are very excited to be partnering in the Mill with international alpaca judge, Amanda VandenBosch. Amanda's creativity and knowledge of fiber are an integral part in making the unique yarns produced at the mill. 

Spring Harvest Fiber Mill’s primary goal is producing quality fiber products: soft, bright yarns in several weights, roving, felt products and woven rugs and scarves. Education is also a priority of the Mill. We welcome inquiries about all things fiber and processing.


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