Where does our wool come from?
We source our wools from a variety of suppliers depending on the colour and what is available. We have purchased wool from flocks in EU, UK, Farmer collectives in the Uruguay and as close as the western United States and our own back yard, Waterloo county Ontario. We are always on the look out for new local farms.
Our white wool is from Corriedale sheep from ranches in Wyoming and Montana and is processed in a wool mill in Charleston SC.
Our Gray and Brown wool comes from Corriedale and Polksworth sheep from the UK and the EU and is processed in a mill in the UK.
Each wool colour is from a different breed of Merino crossbred sheep which is why our wool is so soft and fine.
Why don’t we use more Canadian Wool?
Most sheep raised in Canada are for meat and their wool is not fine enough for felting. We do partner with local producers with flocks of heritage sheep with the fine wool fibers we need. However, most can only supply small amounts of wool and it is a challenge finding a Woolen Mill to process it in the quantities we need.
A good example of a Shepherdess we are partnering with is Romy, from Revolution Wool. https://www.revolutionwoolco.com/
We use her wool batting in our Dog & Cat wool balls. The fibre is shorter and coarser which makes it attractive to dogs and cats. Her wool is more suited to be used in duvets and mattress toppers which we highly recommend.
How are the Sheep Treated?
Regardless of the ranches our wool comes from we have standards we always hold them to:
- Absolutely no mulesing. Mulesing is a cruel practice in which the parts of the skin of the sheep are cut away during the process of raising them.
- Ensuring the sheep are given adequate free-range time outside of the barn. This improves the quality of both the sheep’s life and the wool.
- No harmful chemicals are used during the processing of the fleece into wool roving. The sheep are never exposed to chemicals including sheep dips.
- The sheep are raised for their wool, not to eat.
We find the best way to ensure the humane treatment of the sheep is to ask questions. By educating ourselves we can ensure the wool that we use comes from farms practices that we support while also showing the livestock industry that there is demand for sustainable and ethically raised wool.
How is the wool processed?
In Canada, we use a pH balanced unscented fabric wash (Forever New) during the felting process to remove residual lanolin from the wool.
Are all wool dryer balls the same?
It all comes down to the quality of the wool. Finer wools make softer and tighter wool balls. We use wool that has at most a 25 micron rating. The micron rating refers to the thickness of the fibre .
Softness is important both for the gentleness in the dryer and also during the felting. The lower the micron rating the tighter the fibers bind together during felting. This is important as it prevents our wool balls from falling apart no matter how rough your dryer treats them.