Field trip

Another week has got away from me… but before it becomes ancient history I wanted to share a few photos from a Guild field trip last week. We visited Todd & Duncan, a local mill which produces woollen spun cashmere yarn for the knitting industry, and had a really informative guided tour which took in the whole process.

Bales of cashmere – this is the state in which it arrives in Scotland. It has already been dehaired and scoured.


It looks quite different when it is dyed navy blue.


The blending machinery is cleaned out very carefully, so that the ingredients for one yarn do not contaminate another.


And they have separate areas for handling light, medium and dark yarns. This is the white again, but with oil and water added to it before it processing.


My favourite part of the process was the carding. The fibre is so light it looks like foamy water.

[vimeo 194270763 w=600&h=600]

And my next favourite part was the incredible machine which inspects the spun yarn, cuts out any knots or other irregularities and then splices the two ends together.


As the yarn is plied, it is pulled through a wax disc. The wax allows it to be used on a knitting machine without too much friction.


Back in the boardroom, the wall of samples had us all swooning with delight.



They’ve been in business for nearly 150 years, so they have had time to build up a fair collection.

Field trip” was posted by Cally on 4 Dec 2016 at

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5 Responses

  1. Barbara Scott

    Thanks for sharing these pictures. Those samples are just unbelievable – and the dye recipes that must to with them, etc. etc.

  2. Betty Bell

    Wow … what a great place to visit. Any chance they sell mill ends??? Yeah, I’m dreaming ………

    • Cally

      Sadly not, no mill ends. But it’s not a yarn designed for weaving, so there’s no need to grieve too long!

  3. Alison

    Fantastic blog. Thank you Cally. Sounds like you had a great time. Thankyou for sharing with us.

  4. neki rivera

    wonderful! the bad news is that we can’t get our hands on it. i’m sure we could make do even if not designed for weaving.weft perhaps? dreaming the impossible dream 🙁