We are still working on turning Batch 5 into finished Fabric, but that work took a big jump this week because TexTech Industries has demonstrated their ability to "finish" our Fabric and told us they should be ready to ship it to our tailors by mid-December.
Batch 5 will be the first Batch of our Fabric that will be tracked by sewing Fabric Number Batch Tags into each of the garments made from this Fabric.
Batch 5 will include FullWeight Fabrics (Drab, Duff and Lynx Pattern) and MidWeight Drab Fabric. Batch 5 will not include MidWeight Lynx Fabric, and might not include FullWeight Black.
We purchased the Batch 5 greasy wool (wool as it is shorn from the sheep) in April, 2018. (That's a crazy-long time ... pushing three years ... the Production Backstory page explains the delay.) As usual, we selected our wool with the guidance of Advisors and Ranchers Bob Padula and Mike Corn. Mike and Bob have been our most important Ranchers and Wool Consultants since WeatherWool was nothing more than an idea.
Batch 5 was scoured (cleaned) at Bollman Industries in Texas. Batch 5 weighed 9835 pounds (4460 kg) "dirty" and weighed 5676 pounds (2574 kg) after scouring, for a yield of 58%. This means that 42% of the weight of the fleece was wool grease (lanolin), dirt, twigs, vegetable matter and other debris. This is actually a very high yield.
From Bollman Industries, Batch 5 was shipped to American Woolen Company in Connecticut in May of 2019. In January of 2019, Debby and I visited AWC and were very favorably impressed with the people and with their experience. AWC is a very old company, and for many years had been operated by Loro Piana, the 200-year old Italian family company renowned for luxury textiles. We loved the idea that Loro Piana's luxury could be matched with our hardcore performance. And indeed, AWC, working with Pennsylvania's great Material Technology and Logistics (MTL) for the weaving, produced a small amount of marvelous Fabric in November 2019.
In November of 2019, we sent to AWC a purchase order requesting they turn the rest of the Batch 5 fiber into finished Fabric.
AWC was working on our PO when the virus pretty well shut things down, and it has been very difficult ever since. However, AWC did manage to spin most of Batch 5 into yarn, and that yarn has been woven into loom-state fabric by MTL.
At this writing, we are working with TexTech Industries of Portland, Maine, to get the loom-state fabric "finished" and ready to be sent to the tailors. TexTech has sent us a small sample of our finished, FullWeight Lynx Fabric for our review, and we have approved this sample. This is a really big deal and we are quite excited by this development!
One crazy detail is that Batch 5 should have been about 2200 yards but right now we can only locate about 1650 yards ... not sure what happened to the rest. All of the Black yarn has been misplaced. We expect it will turn up when AWC gets rolling again post-virus.
27 November 2020 --- Ralph