Directly after the Berlin Common course I visited the Border Mill, a Mini-mill in the small Scottish town of Duns. Mini-mill equipment is designed for small scale operations, where smaller batches of material can be processed to a high standard. The equipment is, as the name suggests, a small version of the most commonly used textile machinery. It enables artisans and smaller businesses to produce, dye and packaged their own unique yarns. Personally I think the small scale equipment is a fantastic idea, and is also very suitable for low production volume users such as schools, universities and research institutes.
The Border Mill Specializes in Alpaca yarn having their own Alpaca herd. They also process other types of animal fleece from private pet owners and other small farms. They dye, wash, card, draft and spin yarn. It was especially interesting to learn about the twisting, over-twisting and settling processes that natural yarns go through and it has given me some ideas about how I might approach some of my own yarn twisting problems.