Please skirt your fleece before sending it to be processed. Spread your fleece out on a large flat surface with the "pretty" cut side down so the "dirty" side is facing up. Remove anything and everything from around the outside edges of the fleece that look poopy, felted, matted, or globbed with grease. Carefully look over your fleece and pick out any bits of grass, hay, stickers, etc. that you would not want in your finished batts or roving. The better job you do skirting and prepping your fleece translates to a much better finished product. Turn the fleece over so the cut side is up. Look for and remove any second cuts(short chunks of wool).
In preparation for washing your fleece, I separate the fleece by chunks of locks. Not quite lock by lock, but close. The locks are placed in mesh laundry bags for washing. If you would like me to separate and sort your wool according to color or type during this process, please indicate this on the order form. The fleece is given 3 washes and 2 rinses to ensure removal of all grease and dirt. The locks are removed from the bags to air dry.
Most fleeces will be sent through the swing picker to open up the locks. Fine fleeces that are not sent through the picker will be opened up by hand during the carding process.
The clean and picked fiber is now ready for the drum carder. I have a very large motorized drum carder that produces 17inX38in batts. The fiber is given a minimum of 3 passes through the carder to produce a smooth and fluffy batt. Depending on your fiber, the batts can weigh as much as 6 ounces each. Your batts will be neatly rolled in tissue paper and shipped in a box.
It is the same process as described above, only instead of removing the fiber in a large sheet, it is pulled off the drum by hand through a diz. This produces a lovely long length of fiber that is very easy to spin and store. Each drum-full of fiber is pulled off in one continuous length and loosely hand wound in a ball.