Answer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information about a U.S. source for mechanized carding, spinning, and other processing equipment for alpaca fiber.
Below you will find reference to two versions of a fiber processing mills directory from Wild Fibers magazine, dated Spring 2005 and Summer 2006. Several of the mills listed also sell equipment. These include Mini Mills (Canada) and Stonehedge (Michigan).
I am particularly pleased to direct you to the Stonehedge Mill; they have some very interesting information available on their website (http://www.fibermillingequipment.com). Please read their articles on “business planning” and “average monthly expenses and income”. I encourage you to take the time and money to visit the mill and ask questions; they offer a mini-apprenticeship so that you can see first-hand what is involved in the work.
Two items I’d like to call to your attention; first, the initial investment is around $100,000, according to the Stonehedge site. Secondly, the typical monthly expenses listed on the enclosed materials do NOT include principal or interest on the investment. You will want to study the figures carefully to consider the expected profitability of this enterprise.
Listed below are several other articles that I hope will be of interest, including “Fiber Processing as a Micro-Industry” and price lists from existing fiber processing mills.
Mill Guide lists from Wild Fibers magazine. Spring 2005, p. 54; Summer 2006, p. 69.
Stonehedge Fiber Milling Equipment, Inc.
Average Monthly Expenses and Income
NEWAIM Fiber Processing Mill information. 1 p.
Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool Company. Wool processing. 5 p.
Sutherland, Larry. 2002. Fiber processing as a micro-industry. The Camelid Quarterly. March. p. 1–5.
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