Come see a worsted spinning mill in action! The Jagger Brothers Mill has been spinning yarn in Springvale, Maine for over 100 years. The tour will show the process of spinning yarn from the bales of fiber to Jagger Spun Yarn. Mill end yarns and fiber will be available for purchase at the end of the tour.
We are located just inland from the beautiful seacoast communities of Kennebunkport, York, Wells and Ogunquit.
Jagger Brothers Worsted Spinning Mill
5 Water Street, Springvale, Maine
Tours are usually scheduled for the fourth Wednesdays of the month at 10:00 AM. (Call or e-mail to make sure.)
Reservations are required.
Email us to register for a tour › or call 800-225-8023, ext. 26 to make a reservation. Tours are limited to 10 people per group. (Sorry, no children under the age of 12.)
Combed fibers in “top” form are shipped to the mill in 500 lb to 1500 lb bales. The wool or synthetic “top” is the raw material needed to be blended and spun into worsted type yarns. We spin different wools sourced form USA, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa. We blend synthetic fibers shipped from Europe, Japan, Turkey, and USA.
First, we mix different combinations of fibers and pass them through two sets of pinning to blend them uniformly and keep the fibers parallel. We can mix different types of wool, wool and other natural fibers like silk, alpaca, mohair, or mix wool with synthetic fibers like acrylic, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, rayon, and performance fibers like Hollofil polyester, Outlast viscose, Outlast Acrylic, etc. We also can make custom color mixtures.
The “tops” from blending or 100% wool tops are doubled and pass through three more sets of pin drafting to make sure the fiber distribution is uniform from beginning to end of the production spin lot. The fiber mass, called a “sliver,” is gradually reduced in weight or made “thinner” as it is drafted in each pinning operation.
Roving is made by passing the final pin drafted “sliver” through a set of “rub rollers” to hold the fibers together so we can start the spinning process. The rollers move back and forth to create a false twist in the roving. Notice that the roving is really 2 individual strands that will be spun on separate spindles of the spinning machine.
The rub roving bobbins are hung on the creel of the spinning frame. The roving is pulled off the bobbin and passed through a draft zone to reduce the fiber mass to the final weight required in the yarn. Twist is inserted into the yarn as the fibers exit from front rolls of the draft zone. Inserting twist locks the fibers together creating a thread which we call “yarn.” By adding or decreasing twist, we change yarn performance characteristics.
In winding, the yarn is electronically monitored and any imperfections, thick or thin spots, knots are removed. We splice the yarn back together to create a knotless single yarn wound on a cone. The single yarn may be waxed and sent to shipping or it could be unwaxed and held to be used in our Twisting department.
We take 2, 3, or 4 ends of single yarn and combine these ends by adding twist, a specific number of turns per inch, to create a plied yarn for knitting or weaving. Plied yarns are balanced and don’t torque or twist around when knitted or woven into a fabric. Plied yarns are stronger, more uniform, and more durable than single yarns of equal size. The plied yarns are waxed or unwaxed, put on cones and shipped to specific customers.
The last step is to pack the yarn in cases for shipment to our customers. We ship yarn in cases weighing 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 lbs. Most cones are bagged to keep the yarn clean and prevent abrasion during shipment. In our heavier cases, we insert a cardboard separator between layers of yarn to help distribute weight and prevent damage to the yarn.