Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 Posted in Events, Fiber Arts Education, General News | No Comments »
The tour begins on Monday August 3rd with a stop at The Maine Top Mill in Waldoboro and concludes the day with a visit to Cloud Hollow Farm. As you’ll learn, these two gems in Maine’s fiber world are intimately linked. The Maine Top Mill’s creation is the result of Bob Weintraub’s daughters’ breeding decisions with their first Alpacas in 2007 at their Cloud Hollow farm. They were producing fiber but they found existing Mini Mills could not spin their fine 18 micron alpaca fiber and the mills that did process the woolen spin fine micron fiber demanded a much larger amount than they produced. Cloud Hollow Farm’s goal with their breeding program was to produce these very fine fibers but the stumbling block was to find where to process their fibers.
To this end The Maine Top Mill was founded. Bob searched for used textile machines they could repurpose to process these fine protein fibers measuring 20 to 13 microns. The machines arrived in Maine in 2012 with their Textile Engineer and so The Maine Top Mill was established. Initially The Maine Top Mill began processing Domestic 18.2 Rambouillet Top, local Merino Top and Cloud Hollow Farm’s own Chiri Cloud 80’s Top. Hand spinners were the customers for these products.
Now The Maine Top Mill also provides the service of processing small lot Top Making from clean qualified fiber and uniform carded or Pindrafter silver and have added new Blended Top and blending services to fiber producers. We’ll see their new 2015 offering, the Lightspeed Top Blend, in black and grey as well as 18.5 Merino and 18.2 Rambouillet Blends and other blends using silk, bamboo, and superwash Merino blended top.
Maine Top Mill supports the Nunoa Project in Peru and the US and International Veterinarian Students working to improve Alpaca in Peru with the sale of shawls and other knitwear items made by Quechua hand spinners and at least one weaver.
The Maine Top Mill sprung up from a need to have a processing plant for these fine micron fibers now being grown and produced at Cloud Hollow Farm and other farms in Maine and New England and it has been adding services since it opened.