Leslie and Bob have been farmers, collectively for over forty-five years. Bob, along with his family, cash crop 1300 acres and raise beef cattle. Leslie was involved in the equine industry, breeding and raising Canadian horses. Canadian horses are a light draft and Canada’s national breed. In 2003 Leslie made a very good trade and acquired 37 registered alpacas for 6 registered Canadian horses. From that point on, a career change took place and Canadian Comfort Alpacas took off running.
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The most obvious use for wool for most people is for clothing. Sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, mitts, undershirts, skirts, if we wear it, it has probably been made out of wool. Merino wool is beautifully soft and wicks away moisture while keeping you toasty warm in all kinds of weather. Here in Ontario we don’t, and from what I have been told, can’t grow good merino wool. Most of the wool we have in the Upper Canada Fibreshed (UCFS) is from meat sheep. A few shepherds do grow wool for the artisan market that is more suitable for clothing, but most is not. Most of the wool from our area is just not nice enough to wrap ourselves up in and snuggle down. So, what do we do with it?
Well, historically LOTS of things have been made from wool. Everything from carpets, to pillow stuffing to duvets can be made form non-wearable wool. In fact, wool has many beneficial properties that make it PERFECT for non-clothing uses.
DID YOU KNOW:
- Wool doesn’t ignite like synthetic fabrics? Being a hair, it smoulders. Once the flame is taken away it stops.
- Wool is wrinkle resistant. After all, who want to iron more?
- Wool can hold 30% of it’s weight in moisture and still retain heat. It can get damp but still be warm.
Wool may have many interesting properties, but we still have to figure out how to use it if we can’t wear it.
Here are some ideas:
All photos and project courtesy of All Sorts Acre Feltworks.