Something New at Bartlettyarns

We love any reason to go to Bartlettyarns in Harmony. There is just something magical about the place: it is like going back in time. This time however, it was to see something new.

After years of carding and spinning yarn, Bartlettyarns has recently added a washing/scouring mill to its line of wool processing services.  From all documentation known, this is the first time in Bartlettyarns' history that they have had the capability to wash wool on site, other than possibly in the very early days of the mill - which began in 1821 - when wool may have been washed in the stream.

Owner Lindsay Rice explaining the washing process.

Bartlettyarns washing mill uses a 1950’s style Sargents Scouring Train developed for MIT.  This four bowl system has been set up for water efficiency and a state of the art water discharge system.  (It takes approximately two gallons of water to wash one pound of wool.)  Bartlettyarns is seeking GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Organic Certification of these processes.  Currently, the system has a capability of washing 200 pound of wool a day. It is not yet large enough to handle Bartlettyarns' own large scale production, but it can process smaller batches of their wool, serves as a "backup" washing option for production, and of course it now allows Bartlettyarns to offer the complete process of transforming fleece to roving or yarn right here in Maine.


The wool will go through four washing bins by a conveyor system before it is complete.  The water used in the last wash is relatively clean and will be reused to wash the fleece at the first point where the fleece is the dirtiest.

Washed qiviut will eventually find its way back to Greenland.


Bartlettyarns custom processing will take the following fiber: wool, alpaca, llama, mohair.  There are no minimum weights required. While we visited, Bartlettyarns was custom processing qiviut that will be eventually sent back to Greenland from where it came!

Bartlettyarns will host an open house on August 2nd and 3rd.  Tours of the spinning mill begin on the hour between 10am-4pm and their store will be open 8:30am-4:30pm.  For more information about the open house, please click here to go to their website. The information about their open house is located at the bottom of that page.

Please note that the washing mill is likely not on the tour since it is located a couple of miles away from the spinning mill.

Leave a comment