By Kayleen Holder
There’s only one public fiber mill in Texas, and it’s right here in Devine, says Sarah Winterstrom proudly. The Winterstrom family moved here from California and started this mill in Devine about a year ago, and they are plenty busy already.
“I had no idea we were going to be the only fiber mill for the public when we came to Texas,” Mrs. Winterstrom said with a chuckle.
You’ll find alpacas, lamas, all kinds of chickens, guineas, and ducks at the farm to greet you, and the fiber mill at the back of the property. Right at the front, there is a whole wall full of colorful yarns that were all processed right there at the farm.
An impressive operation, Mrs. Winterstrom showed us how it all worked, from start to finish–processing the wool of Alpaca and sheep for themselves and for others who raise wool-bearing animals.
“I had a friend in Oakhirst, California who shut down her business and all of our equipment came from there,” Mrs. Winterstrom said. “I had volunteered there at one time and that’s where I learned everything I knew about the fiber mill business.”
They produce yarn, roving, bats for quilting, and felted bats.
They also make beautiful afghans, crocheted dolls and animals, shoe insoles, felted soap, dryer balls, and bird pod houses from the fiber they process.
The Winterstroms sell products at farmers markets or to customers visiting the farm.
“People sheer and skirt their wool themselves, and then drop it off with us. We wash it, pick it, card it, and pin draft it into roving (the long braided rope like product). Then we spin it, ply it, skeinwine it, do a final wash, and ship it back to the customer.”
Tour the public Fiber Mill in Devine-the only one in Texas
By Kayleen Holder