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VAEMLA WOOL MILL

Location: N58° 49` 53.6", E22° 49` 30.0"

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This long and old-fashioned limestone building was built as a hay shed of Vaemla manor in the middle of 19th century. It has also been a village shop and a flour mill. A wool mill was established here in 1950s and worked for 30 years using the same machines which are still in use today. The wool mill doesn't produce wool. This is the sheep's job. Here the wool sheared from sheep is turned into yarn.  

The work today is operated by a small family firm 'Hiiu Vill' since 1992. When you enter the house, you get a feeling, that you have travelled 100 years back into the past in time-machine because the machines here are made in 19th century. A lot of work here is done by hand. The oldest of machines: a 'wool wolf', carding machines and a roving machine, were made in Poland. The Soviet-time machines: spinning machine and doubling machine were made in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. It is possible to produce 25 kg of yarn with these machines in an 8-hour workday. The wool goes through a 'wool wolf' at first. This machine mixes the wool and rips it into a fluffy mass. Then the wool is weighed and it goes through two carding machines, which turn the wool into a kind of thin soft sheet or batting. The wool is carded three times to make the fibres as unidirectional as possible, to free the wool of foreign matter and to give it uniform colouring. To get grey yarn, the black and white wool are mixed. This kind of wool can be used for felting, and, for example, as filling for quilts. At the end of the third carding machine, there is a roving machine that divides the wool sheet into roves – soft strands of fibre. Spinning wheel turns the rove into yarn. Doubling machine twists two yarns together – the yarn will become thicker and more even. Reeling machine helps to make hanks of yarn. The working process can be observed. They do not only produce yarn but also knitwear designed by the hostess and textile designer Tiiu Valdma.  

Here has also taken place some funny situations. Once, a bus full of children from Tallinn visited the wool mill. At the same time, when the owner Jüri was showing the machines and explaining how they work, one boy asked unhappily why they killed so many sheep. The owner replied, ''If you go to the hairdresser's, do they cut your head off each time?''