If you ever have the opportunity to visit a yarn factory, it would be a great, inspiring experience. But if you don’t, you can take a virtual visit thanks to the terrific crafters online who have shared their experiences of what it is like to see in person how yarn is made, packaged and shipped out.
Photo and Video Yarn Factory Tours
In 2012, Vickie Howell visited the Spinrite factory in Ontario. She took some great photos sharing dyed and undyed fiber, roving being wound into yarn, and more. The photo above, from her post, shows the process of creating a variegated yarn through partial dyeing. See all of the photos in her post for a better understanding of the yarn making process.
Liat from KNITFreedom visited the Malabrigo Yarn factory in Montevideo, Uruguay, which was a dream come true for her.
Karen Goodson and Paradise Fibers share a tour from an Idaho wool mill.
Mikey from The Crochet Crowd shares his tour of the Caron Yarns factory in North Carolina, giving us a look at how those one pound balls of yarn are made.
Crochet designers The Double Stitch Twins share their visit to the Coats & Clark factory to see how Red Heart Yarns are made. This one is a really great step-by-step video sharing exactly how the yarn is made.
The Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont welcomes you to come take a tour. They also give an “armchair tour” on their website, explaining the whole process of what goes on there and sharing lots of photos so you can get a real sense of what it’s all about.
Katie gave a written and photo tour of West Yorkshire Spinners factory for a Wovember post.
Jagger Spun shares a virtual tour online including a look at their Maine mill building, their warehouse and the steps of the yarn milling process.
The American Edit shares a great photo-and-text tour of the Faribault Woolen Mill.
The maker of this video of a yarn factory in Istanbul writes, “By seeing this video, I hope I can inspire you to understand what’s behind the clothes you buy and wear each day”
Here is what a big yarn plant looks like. “Parkdale in Gaffney, S.C. is one of the largest yarn factories in the world. They produce enough yarn to go to the moon and back multiple times a day and use the most up to date technology to make sure they continue to do so.”
Visit a Yarn Factory
I already mentioned that Green Mountain Spinnery invites you for tours. Here are some other wool mill / yarn factory tours:
Bartlett Yarns in New Hampshire offers daily mill tours and also has an annual open house in August.
Fingerlakes Woolen Mill in New York offers the “armchair tour” on their site, providing some great information about how yarn is made. They also invite you to contact them for an in-person tour.
Abundant Earth Fiber in Washington offers periodic mill tours. Check their events calendar for upcoming options.
“Custom Woolen Mills started in 1975 as a small family business and, now in its second generation, has grown from producing 40,000 lb/year to 100,000 lb/year.” They are in Alberta, Canada; they welcome visitors for tours.
The Wool Factory in the UK is always open to visitors. This is a yarn warehouse.
Suncrest Orchard Alpacas in Colorado offers fiber processing tours as well as alpaca trekking tours!
DMC in Alsace offers regular tours. “It is now the world leader in embroidery and crochet yarn with 40,000 retail outlets all over the world and it also produces sewing thread and knitting yarn.”
Fun fact: The Coats & Clark yarn factory located in Albany, Georgia was the setting for several scenes in a new release movie called Courageous. The movie isn’t about the yarn factory but you can see it in the background. And several of the employees at Coats & Clark were extras in the film so that’s kind of fun.