Discover the Wooly Wonders of Custom Woolen Mills at Alberta Open Farm Days

Discover the Wooly Wonders of Custom Woolen Mills at Alberta Open Farm Days

Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. wool product

Nestled between the Alberta towns of Carstairs and Linden, Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. is a living testament to the rich history and enduring craftsmanship of wool processing. As we prepare for Alberta Open Farm Days, we invite you to explore this unique mill that has been a cornerstone of the local wool industry since 1975. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Custom Woolen Mills a must-visit destination during Open Farm Days this year!

A Journey Through Time

Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. was founded in 1975 by fiber artists Fen Roessingh and Bill Purves-Smith. They were inspired to start the mill after receiving a truck-load of raw wool as a gift and discovering the decline of wool processing mills on the prairies. Seizing the opportunity, they purchased old machinery and established Custom Woolen Mills to continue processing local Alberta wool into high-quality yarns.

Unique Aspects of Custom Woolen Mills

What sets Custom Woolen Mills apart is its use of historical textile equipment, with the oldest piece dating back to 1895. This approach allows the mill to offer custom processing to sheep, alpaca, and goat farms across Canada, a service that larger, modern equipment cannot provide. As one of only a handful of such mills in the country, Custom Woolen Mills takes raw fiber from farms and transforms it into hand-crafting yarns, machine-knit socks, and bedding products.

Custom woolen mills wool spinning

A Glimpse into Daily Operations

Currently, Custom Woolen Mills processes around 600 pounds of raw fiber per day, resulting in approximately 300 pounds of clean, finished product daily. This involves fiber from about 100 sheep each day. The mill employs 16 dedicated workers who ensure the quality and consistency of their products. Additionally, the mill is home to 20 pet sheep and a protective guard llama named Rubin, who plays a vital role in looking after his flock.

Experience Custom Woolen Mills at Open Farm Days

This year, Custom Woolen Mills is thrilled to participate in Alberta Open Farm Days. Visitors can expect an immersive experience that showcases the journey of wool and alpaca fibers from raw material to finished product. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the mill’s sheep and llama, tour the facility, see the historical machines in action, and try your hand at a wool craft. The mill also has a quaint retail store where you can purchase their high-quality products.

What to Expect from Your Visit

During Open Farm Days, visitors will gain a comprehensive understanding of natural fiber textiles and their agricultural origins. This educational experience aims to highlight the importance of natural, renewable, and biodegradable textiles like wool and alpaca fiber.

A Legacy of Community and Quality

Custom Woolen Mills is more than just a wool processing facility; it is a proud part of the fiber industry, supporting farms across the country by bringing their fiber to local markets. The mill’s dedication to promoting natural textiles reflects their commitment to environmental sustainability and the agricultural community. They take pride in transforming raw wool into beautiful, functional products that are both renewable and biodegradable.

Custom Woolen Mills livestock in paddock

Join Us at Alberta Open Farm Days

We can’t wait to welcome you to Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. during Alberta Open Farm Days. Come and witness firsthand how this historic mill continues to thrive and contribute to the local community. Follow them on Instagram @customwoolenmills and on Facebook at Custom Woolen Mills for updates and more insights into their daily operations.

Plan Your Visit

For more information about Custom Woolen Mills Ltd. and to plan your visit, check out their website here. We look forward to seeing you at Alberta Open Farm Days, where you can discover the incredible journey of Canadian wool from farm to finished product!