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.