There are many smallholders and farmers in Wales who hold flocks of Welsh Mountain sheep as well as sheep classified as rare breed that can supply good quality fleece and yarn.
There are several spinning and weaving companies in Wales who are happy to work with quantities to produce cloth and yarn on a small scale.
Almost by definition, though, supply is at a ‘cottage industry’ level of wool to individuals and small textiles companies. For companies needing wool on a larger scale, obtaining Welsh wool with any traceable provenance is almost impossible.
Cleaning wool is known as wool scouring. The lack of a local commercial scouring facility in Wales is often quoted as a barrier for the industry to progress.
The price of a Welsh Mountain Sheep fleece can be less than the cost of shearing. There is little or no financial incentive for the farmer to invest time or money on the quality of fleeces.
Currently, wool from Gwynedd, just like Welsh Wool joins the rest of British wool where it’s graded and sold worldwide at mass electronic auctions. Therefore, the notion of provenance is lost with Welsh Wool being sold as British.
This research is intended to explore the opportunity in Gwynedd of selling Welsh Wool as a product and establishing whether there is a need for Welsh Wool as a resource for producers, manufacturers and visitor/customers.
We are looking at the current state and potential opportunities for the wool industry in Gwynedd.
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LEADER Local Development Fund
- Elin Parry
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