Tuesday, November 11, 2014

From A to Z, Making Wool Products

I was recently asked to describe what goes into one of our wool products.

I had to think about that...

It all starts with the sheep, of course. Without them, we wouldn't have that amazing (yes, I think wool is amazing) fiber. Raising sheep is a 24/7 commitment but one we enjoy MOST of the time (let's be honest, it is not always enjoyable) Thankfully, they do not need constant supervision and do quite well living out on pasture, year round (unless the temps are 30 below).

Half of the year, they do well on grass, free choice mineral, and water. The other half, we need to add hay to their diet. which is  grown on the farm.
On occasion we do need to give them dewormer (pesky parasites) trim their hooves, if they get too long, or tend to a sick animal.

Yearly, our sheep get sheared, by someone we hire to come to the farm. He makes the job easier, on us and our sheep.

Once we shear our sheep, the wool work begins.

Skirting a Fleece

Washing a Fleece

Process the Fleece into Roving or Batting.

From the roving, I can spin yarn which can be used to make many things.

Wool dryer balls is a favorite item of mine, that is made from felting wool roving.

There are a few items that we cannot make on the farm as of yet-Wool Comforter Batts being one of them. The Tunis wool is a favorite for bedding. We  have to send the wool to a larger, Michigan Mill, where it can be carded into batting, large enough for crib/toddler bed, and lap size duvet/comforters. I am not much of a seamstress. I can find my way around a sewing machine, but I wanted the comforters/duvets to be of a higher quality than I could produce, so a friend of mine was hired to sew the covers on the batting. (Thank goodness for those that have that talent)

I love being able to raise sheep and take part in making products from their lovely wool.
It has been a long time coming, and sometimes it is hard to believe that we are here. It is a rewarding process.

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  1. Great post! I loved seeing the process from start to finish. :-)
    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

  2. I have some wool dryer balls and love them. Very interesting!

  3. Very interesting! I'm loving my wool balls the clothes are coming out so very soft...I know the wool comforter batts must be warm...Great post!

  4. Love your post, so interesting.

  5. I'd say that it is all a labor of love. And very cool to see the process.

  6. Wow! It's a lot of work, and you seem to have the process streamlined very well. I like that you hire local artisans to help you with the wool. Beautiful photos as always, Sandra.

    1. Sue, we are getting there, Still learning :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Our temperatures are just now dropping into the realm of cold, and your wool bedding sounds so lovely and warm! I wish you could make it in a larger size, it is a beautiful duvet. Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop!

  8. I just got to help at a mutton busting this past weekend. So this made me curious about sheep and all of the things you can do with them. We don't see them a whole lot in our area so I defiantly enjoyed learning about them. Will defiantly be share to my readers.

    Busy Gals Homestead


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