Are you a farmer or smallholder with fleece to sell?
Are you a hand spinner looking for fleece to buy?
Hand spinner Sarah Wroot has worked with The Woolclip to produce advice leaflets for farmers who are interested in selling fleece to spinners and also for people buying fleece.
Click on the link to access a pdf file
Please feel free to print copies and give them to anyone who can make good use of them.
Sarah tells us how and why she started this project:
When I started spinning I was certain I'd never want anything to do with fleece. Prepared fibres could be spun as soon as I rip open the parcel; hand-dyed fibres flowed through my fingers and onto the bobbin in a ribbon of colour. Why would I want more? But as I read about people spinning fleece - the different fibres they could source and the different ways they could be prepped and spun - I became more and more curious. It took a year to build up my courage, but I bought a fleece; a fleece that sat in its bag for another year because I didn't know what to do with it! It had been expensive, and I didn't want to ruin it. Eventually I bought a second fleece so I could wash it first and learn from my mistakes. I bought more fleeces, I asked people how they dealt with fleeces, I took notes, and practiced, and as new spinners began to ask me how to wash fleece, I decided to summarise my experiences to encourage more people to discover the pleasures of preparing and spinning their own fibres.
Some of the fleeces I've bought were better (or worse) than others, and conversations with the producers made it clear that some shepherds love the idea that people want to spin wool from their sheep, but they know very little about what sort of fleece a handspinner wants. So, after consultation with spinners and shepherds, I set out some basic guidelines to help shepherds and handspinners work together to get the most from their wool. There are some excellent fleeces available in the UK, and by buying them we're supporting British farmers and maintaining our traditional landscapes. Everyone wins!