Sitting alongside the Higgins Stream in Harmony, ME is a vintage mill building that holds the last remaining working spinning mule in the United States. Started in 1821, Bartlettyarns, Inc was founded by Ozias Bartlett and continues today, with the Rice family. The original spinnery was first powered by an undershot water wheel that was replaced by a water turbine and then converted to electricity. Great-grandson Harry Bartlett took over management of the mill at age 16 in 1902 and operated the mill until 1947 when the first owners outside of the Bartlett family took it over.
The principle of the mule is to duplicate the motion of a hand spinner. In hand spinning, the spinner’s hand moves to and from the tip of a spinning bobbin. Raw wool fibers are snagged onto the end of the bobbin and are drawn and spun between the tip of the bobbin and the spinner’s fingertips. In mule spinning, a carriage contains a row of bobbins, moves back and forth, simultaneously drawing and spinning a six foot length of carded roving attached to each bobbin. At Bartlettyarns, we spin 240 bobbins at a time! We are the last remaining mule spun mill remaining in the United States.
We are pleased to offer a variety of services which include custom processing, wholesale and retail. Not only does Bartlettyarns, Inc. process 100% wool for its custom processing customers, we have also custom processed alpaca, llama, yak and angora. We also purchase both white and dark wool directly from the producer.
Come explore your options—Lindsey and Susan
Mill Store Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Thursday 8:30 am - 6 pm (Starting in May, 2014)
Saturday 10 am - 4 pm (Starting in May, 2014)*
Located at 20 Water Street, Harmony, Maine
*We cannot guarantee warehouse staff will be available to assist in the custom processing
aspect of our business, including off loading of fiber. If you are dropping of fleece during the
week day, please plan to arrive by 2 pm. Thank-you.