Stretch Goal: $70k
Lately, we feel much like George Bailey at the end of It's a Wonderful Life: We've experienced a Christmas miracle from friends and neighbors, not only reaching but surpassing our $20k goal in just two weeks. Each of you is our Clarence angel!
Since we very fortunately find ourselves with more than a month of campaign time remaining, we have set a stretch goal of $70k.
How did we arrive at that number? Well, $70k is 20% of the total cost to get the mill up and running (which is $350k), and about half the total equipment cost, as you can see from our list of equipment and the cost of each item.
Thank you, warmly, for your overwhelming support.
Gift Acknowledgment Cards
You can use a gift to our mill as a gift to others anytime, for any occasion. We have gift acknowledgment cards that feature very cute sheep Matt has sheared, and fields that note the gift as being "from" and "in honor of" someone.
Gift acknowledgment cards are available to all past and future donors, at all contribution levels. After you've donated, simply tell us you'd like cards by either adding a comment to the Indiegogo campaign page, sending us an email, or sending Stephany a personal message on Ravelry (at Rav name "anysteph"). Next, we'll email a link to all of the cards in PDF format so you can select one (or more) that you like. Then, print, customize and deliver them as you wish.
Who Are We?
Mendocino Wool & Fiber (MW&F) is a new wool mill in Northern California to create 100% locally sourced, processed and dyed yarn. It is family founded and owned by Matt (that's me) and Sarah Gilbert. I have worked with sheep, sheep herders and wool processors in Mendocino County as a sheep shearer since the age of 12.
Why a Mill?
I've noticed some problems during my work as a sheep shearer and created MW&F to solve them. Today:
Lack of a local mill makes fiber production too costly. Many producers give or throw wool away rather than process it. Julie Rosenfeld, owner of Renaissance Ridge Alpacas, said it best: “That is the problem, the mill. There are no local mills that produce a good enough product, consistency wise. I have had to send fiber off to Virginia to get it milled which is why I have not had any more made, the cost makes it prohibitive."
Fiber creators and sellers wait six to 12 months to get processed wool back from other regions and states. This hurts small business people and our local economy.
- It's sound business: there is an immediate need and built-in market demand for a full service wool mill in Northern California.
- The success of eco-fashion is hampered by the lack of sustainable, domestic facilities with just labor practices.
Natural fibers are healthy for people and our planet. They are not made with fossil fuels or chemicals, and washing them does not add microscopic bits of plastic to our oceans.
What Will We Do?
With your support we will:
- Produce top-quality yarns out of locally available fibers that are not currently available in the market, but that are frequently requested by knitters and spinners.
- Provide top quality fiber processing for small scale farmers and businesses at our 1,500 sq. ft. facility in Ukiah, CA.
- Efficiently and sustainably process raw fiber into high quality yarns, batting, sliver
- Build a national consumer yarn brand that will be distributed wholesale through retail partners and the Internet.
- Achieve organic certified processing standards.
- Process non-organic certified material to serve herders who cannot afford the costs of organic certifications, yet maintain the highest quality standards of raw material procurement.
- Implement solar energy panels and a grey water recycling system to minimize our ecological impact, and continuously practice energy and water saving measures.
What We Need & What You Get
We have our raw material. We have customers who know us personally and are ready to send us their fiber now. We have perks like yarn and hand knit sweaters for you (check out all of our perks on the right side of this page).
Now, we need the equipment to create a facility that can produce top quality
The proceeds of this campaign will provide the down payment on the following mill equipment:
Picker - $14,500: A picker machine pulls wool apart to make it more open, making it easier to clean (scour), card and spin.
Carder - $51,500: A carder removes vegetable matter and other contaminants, and aligns fibers for spinning or other processing.
Pindrafter - $10,000: A pindrafter combs the fiber and forms a consistent and uniform sliver, both of which are important for hand spinning fiber and yarn production.
Spinner - $30,000: A spinner draws individual slivers from the pindrafter through, and then drafts the fibers out to make the size of thread
needed to create different sizes (weights) of yarn.
Twister - $12,500: A twister does exactly that, twisting strands of fiber together to form yarn.
Skein Winder - $8,000: A skein winder pulls yarn off of the bobbin and winds it into a skein, which is one of the forms in which yarn is commonly sold.
Cone Winder - $8,000: A cone winder pulls yarn off of the bobbin and onto a cone, which is convenient for holding and selling larger quantities of yarn.
What Will We Change?
Your support will make some pretty important things possible. Together, we will:
- Create fiber that becomes clothes we can all feel good about wearing.
- Help fiber producers make more money and sustain their own small businesses, because fiber production will make sense again.
- Create local, rural jobs by revitalizing U.S. textile manufacturing.
- Bring California wool, some of the best in the world, to the rest of the world. Look out, New Zealand!
Other Ways You Can Help
If you can’t contribute,that doesn’t mean you can’t help:
- Please get the word out. Tell everyone you know about our campaign!
- Use the Indiegogo share tools. It really makes a difference!
- Let us know if you have fiber you might like to process.
- Contact us at (707)972-9144 or Shearingmatt@yahoo.com if you'd like to help out at the mill. We're sure we'll need it!