Friday, October 28, 2016

Maine Dehairing Open House

Natural Fiber Producers, in conjunction with Saco River Dyehouse is hosting an Open House for fiber producers, textile manufacturers, mill owners & operators, and fiber brokers, and designers. The primary goal of this event will provide an opportunity to observe commercial dehairing firsthand. Attendees will learn how to experience cost savings once heavier fibers, vegetative matter, dirt, and other contaminants are removed. Come and hear how the machine’s gentle action does not break or damage fiber while removing stronger fibers in accordance with industry standards. With the machine in operation during the event, it will become evident how the remaining soft, supple fibers from the commercial dehairing process enhances the tactile experience of wearing natural fibers next to the skin.

Friday, November 4 1:00 – 4:00 Tours & individual appointments 4:00 – 6:00 Presentations; Discussion; Q&A Session

Saturday, November 5 10:00 – 4:00 Tours; Fiber Sampling Demos; Fiber Trials

  • Tour the facility

  • Participate in a Q & A discussion addressing specific questions and/or concerns about final outcomes, and production. Learn how your net yield can become exactly what is expected!

The dehairing of fiber is known to be a critical link in the foundational chain of high-quality textile processing. The dehairing machine has a proven track record of providing decreased processing costs and increased profitability for fiber producers across the U.S. allowing for the production of the highest quality textiles made in America today. Having demonstrated its capabilities and potential for improving production outcomes, the availability of commercial dehairing services in the U.S., offers producers and manufacturers of yarn and textiles with more options in the marketplace. Manufacturers can now achieve higher profitability through the provision of higher quality yarns and fibers within U.S. borders. Other provisions are attainable for additional cost savings due to the machine’s separating capabilities. One pass through the machine results in “prime” fiber separated from coarser fibers in three stages, each of which has its own commercial viability.

To date, the machine has processed a myriad of natural fibers including Angora (rabbit), alpaca, llama, buffalo, musk ox (qiviut), wool, yak, cashmere, and mohair (goat). New to the lineup is Paco-Vicuna from Jefferson Farms Natural Fibers in Colorado. Much like the fineness of qiviut, the Paco-Vicuna requires settings specific to the needs of the fiber. At this time, Natural Fiber Producers is scheduling several thousand pounds of buffalo, Paco-Vicuna from additional customers, as well as alpaca. In all, it is projected that the machine will process in excess of 60,000 pounds of fiber during the coming year.

Recently, in September, 2016, a returning customer raising musk ox in Alaska, accompanied his yearly harvest of nearly 500 pounds of fiber to Saco River Dyehouse to oversee its processing. After discussing his expectations with the machine’s operator, settings necessary to achieve those goals were established. As the administrator of the Musk Ox Development Corporation in Palmer, Alaska, Mark Austin is happy with the 22% increase in volume. It is however, important to note that settings may differ from one customer to another. Soon after Mark’s qiviut was completed, qiviut from another producer, Geoff Clark of Nunavut, in Northeastern Canada, was processed with different settings to achieve his own goals

The collaborative venture between Natural Fiber Producers and the owners of Saco River Dyehouse, Ken and Claudia Raessler, has been very good. Teamwork between Saco River and NFP representatives has provided customers with satisfying relationship-building experiences. Recently, it was reported that customers were most impressed by the overall knowledge and professionalism of the staff at Saco River Dyehouse, and the ability of NFP representatives to manage customers’ individual needs and expectations.

Natural Fiber Producers and the Saco River Dyehouse are continuing to work through certain logistics of scheduling, fiber staging and storage, as well as scouring and dyeing capabilities. Continued communication and careful monitoring promise to provide customers with achievable and satisfying outcomes in the future. Listening to customer expectations while offering flexibility to meet those needs has become key to meeting targeted objectives.

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