So here we are in Wales. It looks a little bit like the above – drizzling, wild, with the odd castle ruin popping up every few miles- it’s beautiful.
Today we visited a couple of wool mills. I got very excited about this.
The first mill we visited was Melin Tregwynt and I got so excited that I completely forgot to take pictures. (I also have no idea how to pronounce any Welsh names and I don’t know what they’ve done with most of their vowels)
The second mill was the Solva Woollen Mill and I finally remembered to take a few snaps.
Wool is something I am desperate to add into my collections.
The current problem with it is sourcing.
Australian? Is your first thought. How silly is she? We are surrounded by sheep!
Unfortunately, it is not that simple.
Australia doesn’t weave. We knit a little, but almost all wool that we grow we ship overseas to China or America to get woven. We then buy it back off them.
The Welsh have small mills that use local wool. They then spin and weave or knit it in the same area.
The problem in Australia is not only money for infrastructure, it is also expertise. The Italians, for example, make high quality wool fabric as they have knowledge passed down through generations to create the perfect weave. A lot of the expertise in weaving is looking at the fabric that is coming out of the machine and knowing just which needle and which thread is the one that is not quite right.
So we have neither the infrastructure nor the expertise.
But! All is not yet lost… There is a wool mill opening up in Yass near Canberra. I am very excited about this. I am hoping to source fabric off them as, as well as being Australian, they are aiming to be a carbon positive.
More information is available at http://www.petercrisp.com.au/woollenmill.htm