Monday, December 24, 2012
In September we talked about SuriPaco, our expansion into the commercial dyeing world and the purchase of dyehouse equipment that we moved from Massachusetts to Maine! 12 tractor trailer loads later, two weeks ago and following an intensive process we started skein dyeing lovely beautiful wool yarns for an on-line handknitting company specializing in domestic wool yarns, Quince & Co. Next we are moving on to dyeing for the Jason Collingwood line of weaving yarns for wool rugs, our own alpaca yarn blends and other natural fibers! As a result of this - SuriPaco farm side is downsizing while the textile side is continuing to grow. As a result we are having an end of the year "herd sale" of some of our best suri genetics - Follow this blog - we will continue to post as we make progress with the dye side and provide entertaining stories about starting a dyehouse when "one" has very little background in the area! PIctures to follow!
Monday, September 3, 2012
By now we have had 9 new, healthy cria, 7 males and 2 females. The first Tormenta cria is a gorgeous white full Accoyo male out of Litsa. Even at this early age, he is beginning to demonstrate some show potential. We are awaiting 7 more Tormenta cria in Sept--some from Silken Gold female offspring.
While most of you reading this post are interested in the alpaca side of our business, we would like to keep you apprised of the fiber side as well.
Suri Paco will be having some new designs out in the next few weeks--socks, hats and scarves--please check our website to view these items--available wholesale for your stores.
The dye house project continues. All 12 truckloads of equipment are in their new location in Biddeford, ME. The new walls, power transformers, electrical outlets, etc are in place. Repainting is in progress--hard to believe how much difference a little paint makes. The floors for the dye tanks have been leveled and cleaned. New windows are being installed, etc. The 60 hp steam boiler has been ordered and should be available by Oct 1, 2012. The Paternayan wool has been ordered and is in the process of being spun at two commercial spinning mills. All this means we should be in operation by Nov. 1, 2012, ready to begin dyeing skeins of yarn from 1/4 lb hanks up to 1 lb in batches ranging from 20-300 lbs.
Monday, June 25, 2012
We spent the previous week and weekend in Pepperel, MA, packing up the dye house equipment and inventory. Last week the riggers dismantled the equipment and loaded two semi trucks with the dye tanks and other equipment. The overhead hoist will come out this week. Next week, the movers come to move the storage racks and assorted shelving as well as the skeining machines, the cone winders and the ball makers. In addition these 6 trucks will also move labels, marketing materials, computers, etc--all the necessary equipment to make the dye house operational.
The lease agreement for the new Biddeford, ME location is in place so we plan to move all the equipment, inventory and supplies into that space within two weeks, although all the necessary cleaning and construction will take about 4 additional weeks.
In addition to the dye house, we are planning a "fulfillment" center for storage and distribution of other companies products. Our first customer will be Quince and Company, who plans to utilize 2000sq. ft. of space for their fulfillment operation.
We are currently researching Paternayan yarn, a line of Persian yarn we now own that is used primarily for repair of Persian carpets and needlepoint. We found some of the older yarn and are having it analyzed so we can reproduce it accurately, both in size and twist parameters as well as the providing the "hand" and luster the "needlers" desire
Stay tuned as we bring this project to completion.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Ken and Claudia Raessler of SuriPaco LLC along with Pam Allen of Quince and Co. and Nick Burnett have teamed up to form Maine Textiles International, LLC. Maine Textiles Int.recently completed the purchase of the JCA dye house in Pepperell, MA. The JCA dye house had been in operation for the past 30 years, specializing in skein dyeing of natural yarn in lots of 10-400 lbs as well as maintaining several yarn and needlepoint kit lines. The previous owner, Alan Getz, recently passed away and the dye facility had to be closed. We purchased the assets of the business as well as the Paternayan line of Persian yarn. We are in the process of disassembling the dye plant and moving it to a 150 year old former textile mill and dye facility located in Biddeford, ME. The plant should be able to start dyeing services in Sept 2012 under the name "Saco River Dye House". Don Morton, the original dye master, will accompany the move and provide the needed expertise to ensure dye colors are matched perfectly. It is our intention to provide the same type of dye service as before, but with much better inventory control, work turn around and accounting as well as expand services to include other natural fibers, including alpaca. We can accept yarn on cones or skeins. The coned yarn will be skeined into 4 oz, 8 oz or 1 lb skeins. After dyeing, it can be placed back on 1 lb cones or left as skeins to be shipped. It can also be put up as balls as we have machinery for both. As we think about what to do next we are considering stock dyeing (dyeing from 10-400 lb lots of scoured fiber) for use by hand knitters or small volume commercial producers. For the latter, of course, the dyed raw fiber would then have to be carded, drafted and spun into yarn at either a mini mill or commercial mill, depending upon volume. As you are probably aware, stock dyeing in large tanks tends to result in a fiber that does not take up the color uniformly producing a "heather-like" look to the finished yarn. Also, two or more stock dyed colors can be combined to yield interesting color palates. I have been told you can stock dye 7 or 8 basic colors and that by combining the colors as they are carded, create an unlimited palate of finished yarn colors. A number of mills use this technique already.
Keep watching for further developments and time lines