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UK Edition: Give Fleece A Chance

Oct 11, 2010

by AmandaSainsbury handmade and vintage goods

Today wool enthusiasts Amanda, a.k.a. AmandaSainsbury, and Ann from TheTeaCosyShop bring the challenges facing British and international farmers to our attention and encourage us to give fleece a chance.

The Campaign for Wool was launched earlier this year by HRH The Prince of Wales in order to highlight the advantages of using wool in fashion, interiors and construction. The campaign aims to present wool as a fashionable, eco-friendly and durable alternative to synthetic fibres. Today marks the start of the first ever National Wool Week.

The event hopes to highlight the plight of sheep farmers around the world and in Britain, where the cost to shear a sheep now outweighs any profits from selling the fleece. Certain fleeces can be worth as little as £1, resulting in a great number of farmers loosing money. Today’s leading producers of wool are Australia and New Zealand where prices are at a 50-year low. This price collapse in wool production began in 1966 and has continued in a downward trend since, sadly forcing many of the world’s sheep farmers out of business.

Wool isn’t just for Christmas sweaters!

Far from it, wool and woollen textiles are increasingly seen by designers and makers the world over as one of the most luxurious and stylish fabrics.

Most hand-knitted yarn comes from the Australian and New Zealand merinos and cross-breeds, whereas wool from commercial breeds in the UK has traditionally been used in weaving, upholstery and carpets. However, there are now large and small scale manufacturers who are transforming British wool into beautiful home-grown yarn.

From piano hammers to nappies and duvets, wool has hundreds of applications that are diverse as the sheep themselves. Pure wool garments are highly absorbent and hard-wearing, becoming the ideal protective wear for fishermen, hill-walkers, fire and rescue crews, and workers in chemical production facilities. Wool does not burn like synthetics and is specified for use in aeroplane upholstery and carpets. Perhaps best of all, wool is warm and soft, and it doesn’t do that weird static thing with your hair.

Earflap Hat by KuDum and a selection of Handspun Yarn by leafgreenhandmade


As naturally grown fibre, the eco-credentials of wool are immense. It generally lasts longer than artificial materials and can be grown with minimal use of pesticides and fertilisers, unlike many other natural fibres. Wool can be produced on a small scale within small holdings and even in back yards. It can be reused and recycled easily and is a great insulator for the home and the body.

“Betty” in Etsian colouritgreen‘s small holding via Flickr

The disposal of synthetics can cause huge problems, whereas a natural wool fibre only takes a few years to fully decompose. Most synthetics are extremely slow in this process which has helped increase man-made textiles in UK landfill to more than one million tonnes in recent years. By comparison, wool decomposes so quickly and safely that you can even pop it in your compost bin.

Wool in the Designer/Maker Communities

Independent makers and designers have been at the forefront of new design for generations, and with a renewed incentive for keeping traditional crafts alive, crafters and artisans have a huge part to play in the revival of wool. The tailors of Savile Row are also making an immense effort to keep the trade of this luxurious textile from collapsing.

Savile Row hosted the first leg of the Tweed Run in 2009. Photo via M.J.S on Flickr

We can all do our bit! From the smallholders raising traditional native sheep breeds to the spinners and dyers providing amazing alternatives to mass-produced yarns, UK-based Etsians are finding new and gorgeous ways of using wool in just about every way imaginable.

Clockwise from top left, items from feltmeupdesigns, 13threads, herediana, strikk, KaylaCoo, woollyduck, EmmaLamb, strawberriesandcream and namilo

Wool Week runs from October 11 – 17, and to kick off the event, Savile Row has been closed, greened over and made into a temporary home for Exmoor Horn and Bowmont breeds of sheep be sure to drop by for this amazing sight!

The Covent Garden Piazza will also be holding The Sheep Parade hosted by Lyle and Scott tomorrow (October 12). Look out for more promotions and events from world famous brands who aim is to make wool something desirable to own and use. Let’s pull together and shout about an incredibly valuable crafting industry this week. Viva wool!

Further Resources:
The Campaign For Wool website
Follow The Campaign For Wool on Twitter
British Wool

About the authors: Amanda, a.k.a. AmandaSainsbury, became interested in both machine and hand-knitting while at university. She has only recently begun using natural fibres, specifically cashmere wool. The natural softness, she feels, is the ideal yarn to use for cosy winter scarves and she now wonders why it took her so long to use them!

Ann from TheTeaCosyShop has been knitting, crocheting and sewing since she was 8 years old. Now living on a mini-holding in the Scottish countryside just a few miles from the Victorian mills at New Lanark where she sources all the wool she uses in the cosies. Ann also makes a range of other eco-friendly treasures which she sells in her other Etsy Shop, SnowdropsAndDaisies.


Many thanks to Amanda and Ann for putting this together for us!
Check out their wonderfully woolly wares in the Related Items below.

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More Craftivism Posts | Browse items tagged “wool” on Etsy | The UK Edition


  • DesignerKnits

    DesignerKnits said 7 years ago

    love wool

  • HandmadeHandsome

    HandmadeHandsome said 7 years ago

    Great article. Thank you.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Great article, I think its a shame that there isnt more British wool in shops. Its a resource we've had for decades and it'd be a shame to see it go! I love wool : )

  • annawoz

    annawoz said 7 years ago

    Great wool, lovely colors! Thank you for many informations.

  • ginaregina

    ginaregina said 7 years ago

    love wool too

  • artofjane

    artofjane said 7 years ago

    This is a fantastic article. I recycle woolen garments and use them in my work all the time. I was just at a fabric store (one of those chain stores) and asked where their wool section was and the clerk looked at me like she never heard of the stuff! What's better than wool!

  • rosebudshome

    rosebudshome said 7 years ago

    It's about time we acknowledge the wool ranchers and the labor and time it takes to bring such a wonderful eco friendly product to market. Also you selected such beautiful selections that the etsy artists have made.

  • heidiadnum

    heidiadnum said 7 years ago

    I think Betty is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Thanks for a great article.

  • GeorginaKay

    GeorginaKay said 7 years ago

    Great article and something I hadn't honestly thought about before. Its certainly opened my eyes. I will be looking to buy British wool from now on.

  • ByronMorrisArt

    ByronMorrisArt said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the article - I've just completed a painting of two malevolent Sheep (posting up soon), so it's good timing to remind me of my home - the Welsh valleys where I often had sheep in my yard especially in winter!

  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique said 7 years ago

    Great article, Thanks for sharing some great information.

  • Colettesboutique

    Colettesboutique said 7 years ago

    Great article, thanks for sharing some great information.

  • LucentJewels

    LucentJewels said 7 years ago

    Thanks for a great article and for raising awareness of all the issues surrounding wool/natural fibres versus synthetic. I love natural fibres - they're so much more tactile and comfortable to wear than synthetic. Some great finds too. Plus a v cute sheep!

  • AmyandPia

    AmyandPia said 7 years ago

    There is so much locally produced British wool out there! I found this the other day - helping meat farmers to turn their fleeces into lovely wool for us to knit with!

  • thebluekitteh

    thebluekitteh said 7 years ago

    This is super ladies, a great read with ma coffee:)

  • lindaboucher

    lindaboucher said 7 years ago

    I *love* sheeps and their cosy woolie fleeces... in my opinion, the only good thing about autumn and winter is knitwear. Great and informative article. Thanks! *runs to look at cashmere scarves*

  • bigbluebed

    bigbluebed said 7 years ago

    A great article. A very important issue and I will follow the link. Thank you to Amanda and Ann who both have great shops.

  • TheJewelryStory

    TheJewelryStory said 7 years ago

    A very interesting article, what a great initiative! Thank you...

  • verityunmondoaparte

    verityunmondoaparte said 7 years ago

    thanks Amanda and Ann, I love sooo much wool and so I appreciated this nice article!! ^_^

  • DalkullanJewelry

    DalkullanJewelry said 7 years ago

    Having grown up on a sheep ranch, I'm a major fan of sheep and wool. Thank you for your work promoting wool, and the lovely article!

  • boojewels

    boojewels said 7 years ago

    It's not that many years ago that wool, as a fibre, was the epitome of luxury - now the farm I stay on can't even recoup the shearing fees from the sale of their fleeces. It's time to redress the balance again - there are so many fabulous reasons for doing so. Great article.

  • leafgreenhandmade

    leafgreenhandmade said 7 years ago

    A great read and reminder on the wonders of wool. I do love the sheep!

  • DearAdam

    DearAdam said 7 years ago

    Long live wool!! Sometimes (most of the time) people take for granted materials that are plentiful, natural,and healthy for us...We often need reminding that those things are the best choice and, in fact, very cool!! Thanks for the great article!

  • ClareBears

    ClareBears said 7 years ago

    great article. I love wool :)

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    Yay for wool :) Wonderful article !

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet said 7 years ago

    Those are adorable tea sets!! cosy and classic..

  • Fibrillaria

    Fibrillaria said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the article! Would love to see more higher end wool items here on Etsy too!

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    Tea cozy gift set is wonderful! Congrats !

  • tinyisland

    tinyisland said 7 years ago

    fantastic article - i already emailed my students an article about the Saville Row event this morning - and I shall direct them towards this article! (having a sheep farmer for a father-in-law makes this campaign very close to me!) :D

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    upps you had a mistake namolio shop name here ======= Clockwise from top left, items from feltmeupdesigns, 13threads, herediana, strikk, KaylaCoo, woollyduck, EmmaLamb, strawberriesandcream and namilo ===

  • VintageAndSuch

    VintageAndSuch said 7 years ago

    I didn't know there was such a thing as Wool Week - thanks for a great article. :)

  • TheTeaCosyShop

    TheTeaCosyShop said 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the comments it was really informative doing the research for it, and lovely working with Amanda. I hope it has inspired a few of you to consider making and buying in wool again :) Ann x

  • artizen

    artizen said 7 years ago

    Great article... Ive just finished insulating my loft with fleece[I treated with borax first!!] it has great moisture absorbing properties yet still retains its insulating capabilities.... and lovely items featured!!

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 7 years ago

    I'm so happy that we are celebrating wool, the farmers do work so hard, we certainly don't want to lose them!

  • pocketsize

    pocketsize said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this article. Wool is my favorite fiber to work with, and I had no idea there was such a crisis. What's the best way for individuals to help? Just buy more wool, or is there something more definitive?

  • SoFarWanted

    SoFarWanted said 7 years ago

    Hi! Great article and Happy Wool Week! I posted a treasury list this morning with great knitted finds!

  • camamiel

    camamiel said 7 years ago

    I love wool and fleece!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 7 years ago

    All of the above and worth every extra dime! Grew up wearing hand knit wool sweaters & clothing and am just as passionate about using quality woolens now. It last for decades if well cared for, too. Hooray for the Prince of Wales!

  • vintagekraze

    vintagekraze said 7 years ago

    although i LOVE natural fibers, wool has not been one that i've been able to use (wear) down here in texas - but i LOVE the crochet wool rug photo and think it would be a perfect accent for my new hardwood floors!! i'll be watching for any listings!!

  • beadyiz

    beadyiz said 7 years ago

    Great article -- thanks for bringing attention to this important issue!

  • meadowmuffin2010

    meadowmuffin2010 said 7 years ago

    Wool is great on many levels. It breathes, it lasts, its natural.....

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 7 years ago

    Give fleece a chance - ha. Love wool! Doin' my part.

  • VintageAndSuch

    VintageAndSuch said 7 years ago

    I didn't realize there was a Wool Week - thanks for the article. :)

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie said 7 years ago

    When I had my farm, and kept sheep for shearing...I realized there was little "profit" in it. I did it for the love of it. I happily pay the price of wool items. Thanks for the informative blog!

  • HenryandRupert

    HenryandRupert said 7 years ago

    I love making my cushions in wool and wool/cashmere mix. I like the weight it has to it - it feels substantial but also has a great drape to it and it's soft and cuddly too. I try to make sure all of my fabric is made in England/comes from British producers. Long Live British wool!

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions said 7 years ago

    Love the article!

  • colouritgreen

    colouritgreen said 7 years ago

    good article yay for wool! and fame at last for my lamb Betty :)

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 7 years ago

    Very pretty wool items!

  • FeltShmelt

    FeltShmelt said 7 years ago

    Thank you for the article, viva wool indeed! It's great to see this kind of support for such an important resource. I love working with wool and will look for more ways to support in any way I can. Thanks!

  • ModernFibre

    ModernFibre said 7 years ago

    Three cheers for wool! Thanks for bringing the Campaign for Wool to our attention with your informative article.

  • QuietStorytellers

    QuietStorytellers said 7 years ago

    Thank you for all the information! Wool is wonderful.

  • erinmapes

    erinmapes said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article! I love wool and wish more people would use instead of synthetics. And I wish I could be there for Wool Week!

  • lazygiraffe

    lazygiraffe said 7 years ago

    Great article, the ickle lamb is cute!

  • abstractartgallery

    abstractartgallery said 7 years ago

    Very interesting story... thanks for sharing.

  • thecyclingartist

    thecyclingartist said 7 years ago

    aw, SHEEPIES! *melts* On a more serious note... wool rocks. All my technical cycling gear is wool and it's bloody fantastic. I don't like anything else now. It wicks, its warm yet breathes at the same time. And my housemates just got a snazzy wool duvet because one of them is allergic to everything else.

  • BossysFeltworks

    BossysFeltworks said 7 years ago

    We're all for wool! How terrific that Savile Row is home to sheep this week... and wish we could be there for The Sheep Parade.

  • thewoolpurl

    thewoolpurl said 7 years ago

    Will be celebrating Wool Week ALL YEAR long! Love a darn good yarn! Go create something beautiful!

  • thewoolpurl

    thewoolpurl said 7 years ago

    We will be celebrating Wool Week all year long! Love a darn good yarn! Go create something beautiful!

  • shunklies

    shunklies said 7 years ago

    Just got home from a day at the wool works, great to see this article over my coffee cup! Here in Britain we don't realise just how much wealth of knowledge we have about the fiber we use, not to mention the selection and quality. I see peoples faces light up on a daily basis as I take them round our different areas of fibre, they can't believe how much of a range there is. As prices are going up via the wool marketing board, then that is hopefully a good sign the market is getting even healthier.

  • carolanthes

    carolanthes said 7 years ago

    Happy Wool Week! Great article, I love wool!

  • larkspurfunnyfarm

    larkspurfunnyfarm said 7 years ago

    A Big Thank You from one of those who raise the four legged furry family members - I am glad that we are raising the awareness that it is almost impossible for us to make a living at this anymore. Thank you for supporting us and our sweet ones.

  • jadedgoats

    jadedgoats said 7 years ago

    I hate to hear of the plight of farmers regarding the costs of sheering versus the price of wool. I'm a handknitter from way back, and there's nothing better than a lovely skein of wool. Perhaps Global Warming plays some part in the problem too. Let's all toast Wool Week! Thanks for the article, nicely done.

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural said 7 years ago

    wool is amazing! thanks for this article :) there are so many, many beautiful woolen handmade pieces on Etsy!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 7 years ago

    wool is such a wonderful fabric! great article!!!

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods said 7 years ago

    yay, thanks for sharing a wonderful article. :)

  • awinthrop

    awinthrop said 7 years ago

    I grew up with my mom processing raw fleeces, spinning and weaving all those lovely wooly bits into all sorts of pretty things. I still love wool (and sheep too!), and I'll take a woolen sweater or scarf over a synthetic acrylic one any day.

  • choisette

    choisette said 7 years ago

    the uk rocks...

  • NestleAndSoar

    NestleAndSoar said 7 years ago

    Wool from England forms the foundation of my artwork. Wool from Colorado growers provides my needlefelt supply. I love wool and I am grateful for this soft, colorful, and flexible artistic material! Georgianne Holland

  • ezliving

    ezliving said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • jannio

    jannio said 7 years ago

    Cool wool i love it!

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry said 7 years ago

    I love fleece and wool. Most people say it's scratchy, but I love it!

  • KuDum

    KuDum said 7 years ago

    really good to see so many wool enthusiast out there! thanks for the great article and including my earflap hat. mari ps. there is a typo in my shop name, it should be KuDum (not KaDum)

  • AutumnJo

    AutumnJo said 7 years ago

    You can put wool in your compost pile? That's awesome. I heart my wool socks, but don't get to use them very often in Phoenix :(

  • DreamLifePaintings

    DreamLifePaintings said 7 years ago

    “In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.” Albert Einstein Thanks to sheep that give us great wool! :)

  • TheBloomingThread

    TheBloomingThread said 7 years ago

    I use a wool thread for all the hand stitching in my shop-and I love it!! I can't get the same color richness and texture from any other material~ love the post! wool :)

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign said 7 years ago

    Fantastic article, thanks for sharing! I love wool, cashmere, merino and fleece :)

  • OneLittleHouse

    OneLittleHouse said 7 years ago

    definition of frustration: i *love* wool but i can't knit!! this was a great read, and i loved looking at all the yummy knits and feltiness :))

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 7 years ago

    COZY! Wool is great, wicks away moisture Now only if it would cool down...

  • JewelryArtistry

    JewelryArtistry said 7 years ago

    Wonderful treasury. I especially like the breakfast sets.

  • EnchantedAcresDesign

    EnchantedAcresDesign said 7 years ago

    great article! love the wool collection:)

  • craftyferret

    craftyferret said 7 years ago

    It's hard to believe that such a beautiful natural product that can be used in so many different ways is worth so little money to our farmers.

  • PlanBea

    PlanBea said 7 years ago

    Great article, and it I'm thrilled to see so much information about this fantastically versatile natural material.

  • ravensrealm

    ravensrealm said 7 years ago

    Wool from both sides of the pond rocks! Love this article, and my new word of the day - ecotastic!


    KIMMSMITH said 7 years ago

    Fabby article! Betty is so cute! Beautiful creations!

  • thedoghouse

    thedoghouse said 7 years ago

    I'm not so sure about wool - Sure, it is lovely & warm but what about the sheep? I personally prefer to knit with alternative products.

  • 11m2

    11m2 said 7 years ago

    I am in love with virgin wool fabrics right now... perfect for fall bags. And have a beautiful merino cowl from UrbanKnits! :) Then again, I really dislike acrylics and all other chemical fabrics.

  • ourfrontyard

    ourfrontyard said 7 years ago

    It's really hard to think of buying more wool, here in texas. Maybe, different types of products...tablecloths, curtains?

  • atelierpompadour

    atelierpompadour said 7 years ago

    great shop Amanda Sainsbury!!

  • Cryptogamaelacrime

    Cryptogamaelacrime said 7 years ago

    Sadly, this article fails to mention the harm that comes to the animals you're using to make your wool goods. Shear your own sheep or find out where your "eco friendly" wool is coming from. Or stick to synthetic. Better yet, find some old stuff at the thrift shop and recycle the fibers. It's not eco friendly if it's using an animal that needs tons and tons of food, water, and land. Not to mention the suffering the animals endure for it.

  • pogoshop

    pogoshop said 7 years ago

    Oh me too! There's nothing better than an all wool sweater or a cashmere scarf. Those AmandaSainsbury scarves are gorgeous. So luxurious. We're all about real wool here in Pogo Forest.

  • reyaveltman

    reyaveltman said 7 years ago

    Great article! Been a lover of wool for years and years now.

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 7 years ago

    Believe it or not, I love wool products, even living in me it is so classic! Thanks for the education, going to check out some of the sites referenced.

  • MissMaryElliott

    MissMaryElliott said 7 years ago

    I'm all for animal rights (veganpeace) but if we and the government supported local farmers better the sheep wouldn't need to be transported and treated badly. Farmers need our support and I think this campaign is brilliant. We need changes and quickly before all is lost due to mans greed. Support local produce!

  • RichardandRuthie

    RichardandRuthie said 7 years ago

    I sadly can't wear most wool but that doesn't mean I don't love it! Nothing can beat the look of wool in a coat or on a fedora! And I love the little critters that this crafty community has fashioned from woolen bits and pieces. And I always champion a cause that will aid farmers and be a step towards a more natural and sustainable way of life!!

  • purlsofcolour

    purlsofcolour said 7 years ago

    It's the same sad story here in Ireland. Wool prices are so low that farmers just dump the fleece in the fields because they can't find buyers :( I love wool, and when you knit with gorgeous handspun yarns, you just don't want to go back to using anything else! I am glad to see that we have some companies here who are starting to use wool for home insulation purposes, because it is a beautiful natural alternative! I'd love to insulate my house with wool! And yay! to Betty. She's beautiful!

  • turtletots

    turtletots said 7 years ago

    Thanks so much for this feature. As an ecology-minded knitter, I am happy that the follies of synthetics are being mentioned. We do not pay enough attention to tremendous hydrocarbon use involved in acrylic production. I know a number of sheep and goat farmers who treat their animals with the utmost care and respect. Use of animal fibers doesn't have to go hand in hand with cruelty.

  • drawcity

    drawcity said 7 years ago

    Great article, thanks for sharing!

  • EmmaLamb

    EmmaLamb said 7 years ago

    Wonderful, wonderful wool!!! Great article and thank you for including Aggie... :) Emma x

  • quiltartfabric

    quiltartfabric said 7 years ago

    I didn't know wool prices are so low. At wool shows here in US a fleece cost about $45-and up and the prices go up every year. You used to be able to buy a Corriedale fleece for about $25.

  • mrswoowoo

    mrswoowoo said 7 years ago

    Great article. I think EVERYTHING should be made from wool xx

  • CeliaSews

    CeliaSews said 7 years ago

    I love wool and it's so much greener when it's organic compared to manmade alternatives. Fleece is easily spun by hand into wool and if you look for an ecologically sound source that you trust it can be completely animal friendly. I'm a dietary vegan and wrestled with this question and that's what I decided in the end. It's a personal choice. Oh, and also wool is very popular, warm and sells well. Which didn't influence my decision at all ; D xx

  • MandyBesek

    MandyBesek said 7 years ago

    Beautiful picks!

  • michellearnold

    michellearnold said 7 years ago

    Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention!

  • rangerfeline

    rangerfeline said 7 years ago

    Many of the featured items are made of cashmere, not wool. Cashmere, unless I am mistaken, comes from goats, while wool comes from sheep. So are we including goats in our admiration?

  • AuracaunaDesigns

    AuracaunaDesigns said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article! Hooray for the Campaign! We use wool for all sorts of things here at our house! And check out my shop for all kinds of recycled wool supplies.... yarn, felt, etc!

  • TinsAndThings

    TinsAndThings said 7 years ago

    Sorry, but I find it hard to be sympathetic to those who participate in this cruel industry.

  • SepiaSmiles

    SepiaSmiles said 7 years ago

    I am also concerned about the abuse of animals for the wool industry, however I have found a great company that provides cruelty free wool called Izzy Lane -

  • louise35flower

    louise35flower said 7 years ago

    Great article, we need to support the use of our natural resources. Beautiful picks too perfect for the winter months!

  • TheWinglessBird

    TheWinglessBird said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article - just lovely! Thank you!

  • TinsAndThings

    TinsAndThings said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the link, SepiaSmiles! :)

  • SepiaSmiles

    SepiaSmiles said 7 years ago

    no problem TinAndThings!

  • KSInspirations

    KSInspirations said 7 years ago

    I've really enjoyed this. Besides jewelry, I have knitted since I was 7 and I have recently begun learning to spin. My goal is to spin and knit Shetland lace! I absolutely love wool! SO I'll be sure to do my part to support the sheep farmers.

  • JaniceCordeiro

    JaniceCordeiro said 7 years ago

    I love all things wool. Great article.

  • rayela

    rayela said 7 years ago

    I took a look at the articles mentioned above about cruelty to animals and those are large operations, a far cry from the small family farms who also supply wool and where the animals are loved. I have a special place in my heart for those who practice ethical animal husbandry. It is a tough life but gratifying. My house is very cold in the winter and a friend has knit me many wool accessories that help me make it through the coldest of days. She just went on a knitting trip in Iceland and had a fascinating time there, learning about their special sheep breeds and wools. I started an organization earlier this year, TAFA, which helps fiber artists and textile businesses find larger markets for their work. About half of our members are Etsy sellers and we have several who sell the wool from animals they raise. Here are some of the members who work with wool: Would love to have more wool people join. Check out the membership page for more info.

  • LeatherWorksWithYou

    LeatherWorksWithYou said 7 years ago

    Great article. I met in August a traveler from New Zealnd teeling me how they were raised on hte farms.I have Australian, from Christschurch, New Zealnd, authenic sheepskin wool on etsy, to use as is as a rug however more importantly, use as an iteme with many uses. Some buyers use for purses & purse flaps, while others use for garment collars or vests... tooo may to mention here. Give me a look.

  • LilsMonsters

    LilsMonsters said 7 years ago

    Very interesting

  • DaisyandFlorrie

    DaisyandFlorrie said 7 years ago

    Very informative. I grew up in wool and still wear wool today. It's an amazing fiber. Our throwaway society has in many cases forgotten how versatile wool is and its longevity. It doesn't have to itch!

  • rumplestiltSPIN

    rumplestiltSPIN said 7 years ago

    i would love to spin with some finn wool and shetland wool. I live in the midst of superfine merino breeders but crave some of the rarer brands.great article.

  • LeapARTandVintage

    LeapARTandVintage said 7 years ago

    Beautiful, warm and Yummy! Thanks and best of luck with the Wool Project.

  • realfaery

    realfaery said 7 years ago

    YES, I am with you!!!!

  • merrydaledolls

    merrydaledolls said 7 years ago

    Wonderful wonderful wool! Thanks for this article!

  • silverWARES

    silverWARES said 7 years ago

    Wonderful article..Thanks

  • susissatchels

    susissatchels said 7 years ago

    Love natural fibers! Death to polyester!

  • OhDearWatson

    OhDearWatson said 7 years ago


  • MyBagByRenee

    MyBagByRenee said 7 years ago

    Thank you! I LOVE WOOL and LOVE TO MAKE MY BAGS from WOOL!!!!

  • buttonalia

    buttonalia said 7 years ago

    Being a Kiwi and living in the UK, wool is extremely important to me, so thanks very much for this interesting info

  • themefragrance

    themefragrance said 7 years ago

    Great article- and for those new to ETSY-there are some fantastically talented knitters and weavers who make the most marvelous creations out of wool. Whether practical or whimsical, you will be able to find a color or style to suit you. I am amazed at the talent! Wool On!!

  • hottinroofneworleans

    hottinroofneworleans said 7 years ago

    You don't have to ask me twice to use wool! I adore it! The most recent post on is a wonderful feature on a designer from Edinburgh who is exploring the sculptural qualities of wool. A truly inspiring gift from nature! Thank you little lambies :)

  • tinyearsjewelry

    tinyearsjewelry said 7 years ago

    great article and creations, and I love the photo of the "earflap hat"... that child is very cute. cheers... Casey @ Tin Years

  • BeansAndButterflies

    BeansAndButterflies said 7 years ago

    Great article, LOVE the logo, and I think that wool is a real diamond in the rough when it comes to fabric!

  • SixSkeins

    SixSkeins said 7 years ago

    Yay for wool! Love the wooly items!

  • morphic

    morphic said 7 years ago

    Awesome Article! Wool is amazing and it has been sad to see our NZ wool industry plummet over the years. It seems the amount of designers in NZ wanting to use wool is on the increase but they Mills to manufacture it are on the decrease... Many of NZ's big wool manufactures (icebreaker, swandri) moved there manufactoring to China but with the rise of the new handmade movement we will hopefully see loads of smaller clothing companies using wool the world over!

  • herie7

    herie7 said 7 years ago

    Great article my very first purchased fleece was CVM wool. I love natural fibers over synthetics to knit with too!

  • swanslough

    swanslough said 6 years ago

    Enjoyed reading this. Cute little sheepy picture too (o:

  • KarensLoom

    KarensLoom said 6 years ago

    I wasn´t surprised to hear about the wool problems in the UK. I use natural fibers in my products and it is hard nowadays to compete with the cheap synthetic fibers on the market. However there are people out there who do appreciate quality items made with natural fibers... this campaign i am sure will help to spread the word and encourage shoppers to not only buy handmade but to buy natural fibers too.

  • fabulousfibresbybeej

    fabulousfibresbybeej said 6 years ago

    love wool learned to weave and spin in the Falkland Islands where wool still rules ok. HAving a hard time finding local wool here in Alberta but think I just cracked it! Wool is lovely to work with and so,so versatile

  • alexiswolf

    alexiswolf said 6 years ago

    Good aricle, we need to promote natural materials as much as possible.

  • debdiego

    debdiego said 6 years ago

    I have been wanting to learn to felt, for years. I'm not sure why, but I get so excited by little felt creations, even when it's just a ball. I think you have pushed me over the might be to blame for a new addictions.

  • sueforey

    Sue Forey from SueForeyfibreart said 5 years ago

    Thank you. Great article. Wool is often overlooked as a medium for art. I went to the West Wales Wool festivel on Saturday which was celebrating wool week. Lots of felters, spinners and weavers as well as tools and raw wool. Very inspiring.

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