Yes, it’s Wool Week, where we celebrate everything wool and the most interesting thing on the new this morning was the increase in the value of wool!
Since foot and mouth in 2001 the number of sheep have declined and as a result the value of the fleece have increased. Most British wool is sent to the Wool Board and is destined for carpets, which is such a shame, as that leave very little for British craftsmen and designers like me. I want British wool, we have the greatest and best range of sheep breeds and wool in the world which enables us to use the right wool for the right fabric.
I know someone who breeds a fabulous breed, the Bowmont, in Devon which rivals the best Merino and the whole clip is sold to make fine British base layer clothing for the active industry! We need more of this fabulous breed here in the UK, so that more fleece is available.
The same person, organised the Exmoor Fleece Fair and I’m told by a textile designer friend that there was the most fabulous Exmoor Horn/Merino cross sheep who’s fleece was to die for and reputed to have a micro count close to 18, although it’s not been tested yet! The organiser said that farmers where shocked that people were prepared to pay an extremely good premium for a quality fleece… Yes, there are lots of us out there who want quality British fleece for fashion and interiors fabrics and most of us know quality when we see it!
If you’re one of those people who believe that wool is coarse and itchy, then you’ve not tried Merino base layer underwear! Take a look at the Campaign for Wool page and read about the benefits of wool. The variety of wool is truly amazing from the softest to the coarsest, from the most lustrous to the dullest, and everything in between, there really is the most wonderful variety and you should find a breed or cross breed that is suitable for your needs. We just need the farmers to produce the wool we want!