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welsh wool


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welsh wool


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using welsh wool

The tradition of weaving in Wales goes right back to the middle ages, our hills and lowland pastures make for great sheep country and fast running streams provided the power needed in the pre-industrial age

In the early 20th century most small rural mills worked with their local farming communities, processing the raw fleeces, carding and spinning yarn for weaving and knitting and also weaving fabric for everyday clothing (tweed/flannel) or weaving blankets, ruga and the signature Carthenni double weaves for household use.

Sadly the link to local farms was broken in the 1950s when the British Wool Marketing Board began to buy all the wool centrally, so it was no longer possible to buy specifically local or Welsh yarn. As wool was now sorted on quality most Welsh yarn found itself blended into woollen carpet yarns.

Today in a global market wool is sourced worldwide and much of the softer lambswool comes from Australia or New Zealand.

We're delighted that after several years of hard work, the Cambrian wool initiative has begun to reverse this trend.

As partners in this project we're involved in the first steps of a new venture that will see commercial production of fabrics that are designed and woven in Wales out of Welsh yarn.......so watch this space!!!!

 

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Cambrian Mountains Wool Project


Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

Cambrian Mountains Wool Project


Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

cambrian mountains wool

Cambrian Mountains Wool CIC is a Community Interest Company established in 2016, in order to facilitate the purchase and processing of wool produced on the farms in the Cambrian Mountains region of Wales, for commercial use. 

We always had a conviction that fine wool could be had from Welsh flocks
— www.cambrianwool.co.uk

In 2008 HRH The Prince of Wales set in place the Cambrian Mountains Initiative, one of four rural Initiatives aimed at supporting and developing the upland farming communities in the UK.  Support from this Initiative – along with the skills of local farmers, the British Wool Marketing Board and Curtis Wools Direct – enabled Cambrian Mountains Wool CIC to develop their idea into product.

Our premium wool is the finest grade of Welsh Mule, the name given to the local Welsh breed when crossed with the Blue Faced Leicester. It’s the Blue Faced Leicester that imports the lustre and fineness
— www.cambrianwool.co.uk

“Our premium wool is the finest grade of Welsh Mule, the name given to the local Welsh breed when crossed with the Blue Faced Leicester. It’s the Blue Faced Leicester that imports the lustre and fineness” www.cambrianwool.co.uk 

Alongside the development of the yarn itself, other aims of the company include the promotion of designers and makers using locally sourced wool, and engaging with local communities to encourage traditional textile skills and to raise awareness of the region’s wool production.

Melin Tregwynt are excited to be involved in the development of this new Welsh wool into a weaving quality. It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to return to the roots of Welsh weaving; combining locally sourced yarn with beautiful design in order to create a premium Welsh product for our customers.

 

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What is Doublecloth?


What is Doublecloth?


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WELSH TAPESTRY

‘Tapestry’ is the name used to describe Welsh double-cloth patterns; two layers of fabric are woven one above the other, interchanging at points forming ‘pockets’, and enabling bold areas of pattern to be created. Historically, a strong 2-ply yarn was used to weave these fabrics and this, combined with the doublecloth structure, produced a practical and hard-wearing fabric, suitable for use as bedcovers.
Records show that these quilts were woven on elaborate handlooms in North Wales from around the eighteenth century, and subsequently woven on power looms in that area of Wales. It was around the 1920s that mills in West and South Wales also began weaving similar patterns, and the Tapestry quilt is now seen as an iconic Welsh product in all parts of the country.
Although ‘Tapestry’ cloth is seen as being typically Welsh, similar patterns using the doublecloth structure have been found in woven fabrics from all over the world. Because the patterns of the fabrics are created by the weave structure, the patterns tend to have a resemblance between one another, which makes distinguishing the origins of the style almost impossible.
Each Welsh mill developed their own doublecloth or Tapestry patterns which would have made them identifiable by manufacturer. Originally woven as bedcovers in bold and large-scale designs, the same doublecloth structure was later also used to develop smaller-scale patterns suitable for garments and accessories.
Today you can still find these unique patterns in the remaining mills across Wales – many dating back decades – and the popularity of these iconic Welsh designs remains.

 

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care of your woollens


care of your woollens


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Wool is a natural fibre, and as such is apt to stretch and move with use. We have tested our range of blankets and throws using different care methods. We hope that by taking good care of your woollens, you can enjoy our products for years to come. Our weaves can be split into two main types:

TRADITIONAL BLANKETS: (Broadstripe and Yspryd in pure new wool and Multistripe in lambswool) 

CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC DOUBLECLOTHS: (Mondo, Madison, Knot Garden, Luna, Carew & Patagonia designs in lambswool doublecloth and St David’s Cross and Vintage Star designs in pure new wool)

  • To clean both traditional wool blankets and doublecloth, we recommend dry cleaning. This method best maintains blanket size, handle and appearance.
  • Both types of fabrics can also be washed; but this should be a cool, quick hand wash, and short spin, followed by a cool tumble or line flat dry. The fabric should be immersed in cool water and agitated for no longer than a couple of minutes. Leaving the blanket in even cool water for any length of time will felt and shrink the fabric.
  • For contract use you can also wash them on a max 30deg machine wool wash, with short spin, cool tumble dry or line flat dry. Never use a “hand-wash” setting on a machine as the temperature can vary tremendously and lead to shrinkage. 
  • With frequent and regular washing, the traditional wool blankets can experience up to 6% shrinkage, even with the mildest care methods. The graphic doublecloths can experience up to 8.5% shrinkage and a slight felting in appearance, this makes the fabric become stiffer and more dense, changing the soft hand and smooth appearance of the blanket.

SPECIAL CUSTOMISED DESIGNS
•    Wash / dry clean treatments will depend on the yarns & structures used in the cloth so we would recommend that this is discussed at the initial design stage.

The Campaign for Wool


The Campaign for Wool


On September 9th 2016, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Patron of the Campaign for Wool in association with M&S, hosted the historic Dumfries House Wool Conference in Scotland. The conference brought together 250 leading members of the wool industry supply chain, from farm to store, to discuss the current challenges facing wool and how its further use can benefit the planet as a whole.

In his address to the conference, The Prince of Wales officially endorsed the Dumfries House Declaration.This is a ten-point declaration of intent to support an environmentally responsible, sustainable, and commercially viable wool industry.

The document, created in conjunction with the Campaign for Wool and the International Wool Textile Organization, seeks to become the recognized standard of best-practice in the wool industry. By pledging your support for this declaration, you are committing your company to abide by the ten principles of best practice set out in the appended document, signed by Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of the Campaign for Wool, and Peter Ackroyd, President of the International Wool Textile Organization.
 

The Dumfries House Wool Declaration

 
 
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The versatility of the Wool fibre has been appreciated by man since the stone ages and to this day keeps the modern consumer cool when they are active and protects the wearer from severe weather elements. Moisture on the skin is wicked away and no man-made fibre has the ability to regulate the body's temperature in all weather conditions like Wool does naturally.

1. Wool is 100% natural:

A natural protein fibre that is similar to human hair. Wool grows naturally on sheep.


2. Wool is a renewable resource:

Consuming a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass, sheep produce a new fleece every year without depleting finite natural resources.

3. Wool forms part of a natural carbon cycle:

Sheep consume organic carbon by eating plants, and store this in their fleece. Fifty percent of a fleece's weight is pure organic carbon stored in a durable, wearable form.

4. Wool is a natural alternative to wasteful consumer practices:

Research shows that the average life of a Wool garment is 2-10 years, compared to 2-3 years for garments made from other fibres.

5. Wool was made for recycling:

Wool fibres are high quality and durable, capable of re-use and recycling, ultimately reducing land fill disposal. Wool is routinely upcycled into woollen-spun knitwear, insulation and geotextiles – all of which contribute to a circular economy.

6. Wool is biodegradable:

Wool decomposes in a matter of years, releasing valuable nitrogen-based nutrients back into the soil.

7. Wool is naturally odour resistant:

By absorbing moisture vapour, Wool garments leave less perspiration on the skin, reducing odour-causing bacteria. Easily refreshed by airing, Wool garments can be worn longer between washes due to Wool's natural ability to shed dirt and bacteria.

8. Wool is fire resistant & fire retardant:

Naturally high in nitrogen and water content, Wool's unique cell structure requires high levels of oxygen in order to burn, and forms an insulating layer when heated that prevents the spread of flames. Wool does not melt, drip or to stick to the skin when subject to extreme heat and produces less smoke and toxic fumes during combustion.

9. Wool improves indoor air quality:

When used in interior textiles such as carpets and upholstery, Wool absorbs and locks away pollutants such as volatile organic carbons (VOCs) from the air more rapidly than other fibres.

10. Wool is welfare assured:

The major wool growing countries namely Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay, all support the IWTO and Campaign for Wool and conform to the strictest standards of animal welfare as embodied in the IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare. The IWTO Specifications are premised on the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare as set forth by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, the freedom to express normal behaviour, and freedom from fear and distress. The Five Freedoms also form the basis of strictly enforced national animal welfare legislation in each of these wool-growing countries.

About The Campaign for Wool

The Campaign for Wool is a global endeavour initiated by its Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique benefits offered by Wool and call attention to the ecological advantages it delivers. The Campaign was launched by the Patron in January 2010 and has been celebrated in key international markets, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, South Africa, Canada, United States of America, New Zealand, Italy, Japan and China.

About IWTO

With a worldwide membership encompassing the Wool pipeline from sheep to shop, the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) represents the interests of the global Wool trade. By facilitating research and development and maintaining textile industry standards, IWTO ensures a sustainable future for Wool. To learn more about IWTO and its activities, visit www.iwto.org.