Raw Sheep's Wool
Raw wool is an incredible natural fiber full of benefits for humanity, and is entirely sustainable All of our wool comes from our local rural shepherd partners who use traditional shepherding techniques to roam and raise their free-range sheep. These sheep have free range to graze every day over rolling hills and pastures on wild, organic plants. In doing so, we make our job significantly harder than if we had relied on imported and cheaper wool from the Australian and New Zealand industries, but we also avoid two important harms of the modern wool industry: abuse of animals and toxic fiber treatments.
Many activists boycott the wool industry completely, and for good reason. Industrial wool raisers perpetrate many harms on their animals, from keeping them locked inside to preserve wool purity, to cutting off their tails, to feeding them inorganic substances. These practices are wholly unacceptable to us.
Additionally, it is important to pay attention to the invisible impact of the wool industry on the environment. Despite wool being an excellent natural fiber, most wool today is not left raw and is instead treated with bleaching, processing, and treatment chemicals that have extreme toxic and pollutive effects on our soil, water, and our bodies. These are mainly meant to bleach, purify, soften, retard fire, and repel moths & insects from wool.
We choose instead to embrace the beauty of raw wool. Raw, organic wool has undergone no synthetic treatments since it was cut off the sheep's back. This means that raw wool must be cleaned manually through washing with pure water by hand at least six times, carded repeatedly to remove plant fibers which the wool gathers as the sheep roam freely through pastures and meadows, and spun by hand. It also means we cannot achieve stark white colors in wool resulting only from bleaching. We rely on natural sheep colors or local natural plant dyes for any of the colors in our garments. Finally, using raw free-range sheep's wool means we must again pass over every wool garment as a final quality check to remove by hand any remaining plant fibers. It also means that our wool is left to soften and become smoother with time. Raw wool is longer-lasting than treated wool, however, it takes time to relax into its new shape and lose any harshness. This is why we try to explain to every new client, your raw wool item will soften with wear and wash, and after some time, it will be finer and softer than anything else, not to mention more long-lasting and fully ethical to animals and the earth.
Benefits of Raw Free-Range Wool:
- Sheep treated gently and with care
- Wool comes from live sheep shearing every Spring to prevent over-heating
- Naturally fire-retardant
- Comes in vibrant colors from diverse sheep hair, which can't be replicated with synthetic dyes
- Compostable, future food for the soil
- Safe and non-toxic for your skin
- Wool contains many plant fibers which must be diligently removed by hand
- Wool is not treated with any insect repellant, bleaching, fire-retardant, softening, or dyeing agents which may be toxic to skin. This means raw wool has particular care requirements to protect it from its vulnerability to moths and humidity. Watch our video below on traditional wool care!