It all started when Uriah Jagger arrived from England and established a worsted spinning operation in southern Maine. The rest is history.
Family Tradition, Continued Today.
Since the Jagger family arrived in Maine in the 1880s, the name has been synonymous with high-quality worsted spun yarns. Today, their tradition continues with dyed, heather, and white yarns spun from 100% wool and blends with natural and synthetic fiber – all manufactured right here in Maine.
Jagger Spun maintains fourteen lines of yarn with 9-54 shades in stock for each yarn type.
Take a Walk Through Time…
In the winter of 1884, Uriah B. Jagger, his wife Martha and their four children left Bradford, England. He was a yarn spinner and had obtained employment with Goodall-Sanford Mills, located in Sanford, Maine.
Uriah’s two sons, Samuel and Fred, started Jagger Brothers in Springvale, Maine. In 1904, after leasing several locations, they purchased a dilapidated structure on the Mousam River in South Sanford. The property was known as the Willard Mill Privilege.
Incorporated in 1906, Jagger Brothers continued operations at the South Sanford location until 1956. During this time, machinery was powered by one water turbine. Yarn volume produced was dependent on the water of the Mousam River.
The company moved to Springvale in 1956. Allan, Winston, and Robert Jagger (Sam’s sons) purchased a building that had formerly been used by Goodall-Sanford Mills as a weaving plant.
Jagger Spun continues at this location on Water Street today, more than 100 years after it was founded.
Continuing to grow . . .
Jagger Spun was started in the late 1980s by David Jagger, the owner of Jagger Spun, to provide quality yarn for production weavers and knitters. In 2014 it was expanded to include 50 & 100 gram hanks for our retail customers worldwide.
The Yarn Making Process
Combed fibers in “top” form are shipped to the mill in 500 lb to 1500 lb bales. The wool or synthetic “top” is the raw material needed to be blended and spun into worsted type yarns. We spin different wools sourced from the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and South Africa. We blend synthetic fibers shipped from Europe, Japan, Turkey, and the USA.
First, we mix different combinations of fibers and pass them through two sets of pinning to blend them uniformly and keep the fibers parallel. We can mix different types of wool, wool and other natural fibers like silk, alpaca, mohair, or mix wool with synthetic fibers like acrylic, nylon, polyester, polypropylene, rayon, and performance fibers like Hollofil polyester, Outlast viscose, Outlast Acrylic, etc.
The “tops” from blending or 100% wool tops are doubled and pass through three more sets of pin drafting to make sure the fiber distribution is uniform from beginning to end of the production spin lot. The fiber mass, called a “sliver,” is gradually reduced in weight or made “thinner” as it is drafted in each pinning operation.
Roving is made by passing the final pin drafted “sliver” through a set of “rub rollers” to hold the fibers together so we can start the spinning process. The rollers move back and forth to create a false twist in the roving. Notice that the roving is really 2 individual strands that will be spun on separate spindles of the spinning machine.
The rub roving bobbins are hung on the creel of the spinning frame. The roving is pulled off the bobbin and passed through a draft zone to reduce the fiber mass to the final weight required in the yarn. Twist is inserted into the yarn as the fibers exit from front rolls of the draft zone. Inserting twist locks the fibers together creating a thread which we call “yarn.” By adding or decreasing twist, we change yarn performance characteristics.
In winding, the yarn is electronically monitored and any imperfections, thick or thin spots, or knots are removed. We splice the yarn back together to create a knot-less single yarn wound on a cone. The single yarn may be waxed and sent to shipping or it could be un-waxed and held to be used in our Twisting department.
We take 2, 3, or 4 ends of single yarn and combine these ends by adding twist, a specific number of turns per inch, to create a plied yarn for knitting or weaving. Plied yarns are balanced and don’t torque or twist around when knitted or woven into a fabric. Plied yarns are stronger, more uniform, and more durable than single yarns of equal size. The plied yarns are waxed or un-waxed, put on cones and shipped to specific customers.
The last step is to pack the yarn in cases for shipment to our customers. We ship yarn in cases weighing 30, 60, 90, 120 and 180 lbs. Most cones are bagged to keep the yarn clean and prevent abrasion during shipment. In our heavier cases, we insert a cardboard separator between layers of yarn to help distribute weight and prevent damage to the yarn.