Are you a shepherd with a barn full of unused wool? Let’s get together to put that wool to good use!
We are often seeking new partners who want to use the wool from their flocks but don’t want to manage and market their own yarn line. Fibercraft marketing is more complicated than simply manufacturing a product and then putting it in your farmstore.
We are proud to pay shepherds good prices for clean, useable wool free from defects. The desirability of your breed and the cleanliness of your wool governs the price we can pay. Prices are typically 3-5x the prevailing wool-pool price.
To spin yarn economically, we need a minimum of 50 pounds of clean fleece of one breed, though we prefer to work with amounts over 100 pounds. We purchase fleece throughout New England.
We accept wool from many breeds of sheep. Our restrictions mainly come from the mills we work with, who cannot accept fiber from dual-coated breeds like Icelandic and Churro. We have some limitations on how much coarse wool we can use, but we’d rather hear from you than not, so get in touch!
Cleanliness and Faults
In order to be spun into useable yarn, wool must be reasonably clean. Cleanliness is subjective and hard to explain in text because different kinds of dirt cause different kinds of trouble.
Cleaning : Normal lanolin grubbiness is acceptable. Manure dirt is not and should be skirted from fleece. An easy way to check whether the dirt you have in your fleece can be washed out easily is to wash a few locks in hot water with enzyme-free dish soap. If the dirt is gone, it’s good!
Hay : Hay chaff does not come out of fleece reliably during processing, so we cannot use any fleece with hay in it. Burdock is also a contaminant that cannot be accepted in wool. We are always happy to provide tips and assistance to help your fleeces stay cleaner.
Faults : Faults arise mainly when animal illness or nutritional issues cause the wool to grow poorly for a short amount of time. This break remains as the fleece continues to grow, leading to fibers that tear in half during milling. Other issues arise if sheep itch themselves excessively, whether from lice and keds or from a lack of timely shearing. Cotted and felted fleeces occur under these circumstances.