In Autumn 2020 we were delighted to partner with our first British manufacturer, a family-run mill in the Midlands, to produce our scrumptious wool jumpers. Using natural yarn, we ensure the fibres are of the highest quality to provide exceptional style, comfort and warmth. Wool is a fantastic yarn to work with, on top of being natural, its also renewable. A single sheep can grow four or five pounds of wool each year! They must be shorn at least once a year, otherwise can suffer from overheating, mobility and blindness.
We produce both small-batch British and Merino jumpers, with all wool responsibly-sourced from smallholders in both North Pennines, UK, or a single, family-run smallholding in Spain. They are machine made and checked by in-house knitters before they are dispatched up North.
Born to be worn and loved for years to come, our British-made woollie jumpers aren’t your average pure wool jumpers. They are a true delight in quality, style and supporting smallholder farmers and British manufacturers. There is a story behind each one, from the specific sheep the wool came from, the farmer (and its dogs) that reared it, to the process of dealing with the yarn and the fingers of each individual person involved in its journey that do the meticulous work along the way. Coming from a sheep farming family, my mission became so much more personal, I am excited to see our British manufacturing journey continue.
Our British wool woollies are crafted purely from that – British wool. It is sourced from responsible smallholders farming sheep flocks within the North Pennines. This is the northernmost section of the Pennine hill range which runs north-south through Northern England, lying between Carlisle and Darlington. An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the North Pennines were designated for moorland scenery which has partly evolved from centuries of farming. This area, rich with its farming legacy, is defined by open heather moors, upland rivers, hay meadows and stone-built villages, a very quaint image to envisage. One of England’s biggest waterfalls, High Force, is found here too.
The family mill sources the wool locally from a long-established yarn spinner nestled in the Pennine Range, who work with farmers and a select few distribution centres to acquire the responsibly-sourced wool. There is a small chance wool from my family’s sheep flocks find themselves within our jumpers…eeek! A nice thought to reinforce my personal mission.
The sheep breeds most commonly providing our wool include Suffolks, Cheviots, Bluefaced Leicesters, Scottish Black Face and mules. The wool makes an estimated 452-mile journey from field to us in jumper form in Northumberland National Park.
Our merino woollies are made from pure merino wool. There are more than 200 varieties of sheep, but Merino sheep are exceptional. Searching for the highest quality wool to work with, we ended up in Spain with a family-run smallholding. Merino sheep were established in Spain with the first flock raised in 12th century. It was first used in the uniforms of soldiers and was a measure of wealth. Today, the wool is transported to the UK where our yarn spinner prepares it for making the jumpers in the same small, family-run mill.
Merino wool differs from British wool for its softness, taking up the characteristic fine, soft wool. It comes with unique properties which make it a desirable and sought-after material, because of its breathability. It is a supple and fine fabric, while at the same time provides warmth. The phenomenon of this natural fibres is its temperature regulating properties – a material capable of keeping you warm on the coldest of days as well as keeping you cool in heat. The wool of Merino sheep does not stop growing, in other words, if not shorn at least once annually, there would be flocks of Rapunzel sheep to deal with!