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Fibre direct from Farmers

Posted: 17th August 2021
Author: Catherine Wright

We have always used British Bluefaced Leicester on our spinning workshops sourced in the UK but not always directly from farmers. To be honest, I didnt know how to go about it. Farmers sent their fleeces directly to the Wool Marketing Board or had them spun into yarn, it was difficult to catch them at the fibre stage. They were probably there all the time, I just couldn't find them.

Having been involved with the Homegrown Homespun project and feeling that this is the start of something very exciting we have been making small changes here that we hope will lead to some larger ones down the line

Gloria, Maria and zoe from theflock.uk

I joined a Zoom chat hosted by Kate Makin from Northern Yarn, somewhere we have been teaching weaving for a long time. Zoe from the Woolist as well as Maria Benjamen from Dodgson Wood were there explaining how they were moving things on for British Farmers so that their wool is valued and used.

Eating the elephant a bite at a time, we're hoping to get there in the end

This is something that we feel very strongly that we would like to support. We have a way to go, but by eating the elephant a bite at a time were hoping to get there in the end.

Our aims would be

1. To use different breeds on our different spinning workshops, direct from farmers

2 . To change over time to natural dyes. We have a large stock of dyes and we feel that sending these directly to landfill is wrong so we will continue to use them as ethically as possible.

3 . Our yarn at the moment is British Yarn spun in Peru by small producers and women led cooperatives. We need a high twist yarn for our weaving workshops (we dont use nylon). If the possibility of having this yarn spun in the UK becomes available we will look into it. At the moment this isnt an option but as the infrastructure is built we hope it will be.

These changes will take time but we are excited to be making a start and I've the next few weeks we will keep posting about our plans

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