Wool Foraging


We all see those tempting tufts of wool stuck to fences and grass tussocks when we’re out and about. I’ve decided to start a collection from various locations with the aim of turning them (eventually) into some sort of crafted travelogue.

On last week’s trip to north-east Yorkshire, I was on the lookout for wool when walking the commons and moors. Whilst I didn’t do this much I did manage to gather a reasonable clump of white and black wool from the local Swaledales (I think). I disregarded anything really dirty, kempy, matted or otherwise grim, and focused by attention on wool which would spin up reasonably well.

I’ve washed the ‘Yorkshire’ collection and today carded it with some dog brushes just to clear out much of the vegetable mater (VM) and any rubbish bits. There was a fair bit of kemp which is typical of the breed so I haven’t deliberately removed too much of this or blended the various colours as this will contribute to the final character of the wool and whatever I do with it. The fibres were all of various lengths and quality as well so carding was probably the best option for creating a manageable/storable stash.

I’m not 100% sure yet what to turn the wool into so I’ll hold off spinning it until I know. I reckon I’ll try and collect wool from at least 10 locations so, as I don’t travel too much, it’ll probably take a few years. I’ll store the washed and carded fibre in paper bags/envelopes until I’m ready.


2023 wool collection

  • East Yorkshire (Swaledale possibly – white and coloured)
  • Spetchley, Worcestershire (unknown horned breed – white)
  • Rugby, Warwickshire (mules/mixed breed – white)
  • Hempstead, Gloucester (mixed including Texel – white and coloured)
  • Shetland (sadly I didn’t forage any wild wool as I was on a set trip with limited free time, but I did purchase some fluffy brown fibre from the Silly Sheep Company which might make it into the mix as a memento of my trip there)

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