What is Ireland without its sheep?
Ireland and wool had a very lasting and respectful relationship. Wool was processed in Ireland, used for many different projects and was slowly replaced with plastic fabrics and cheaper processing in China. This has driven the prices to insulting levels where farmers receive 15 cent per kilo of wool as of recent. Now, if you have ever seen a sheep being sheared just for that cost it is shameful this is the price. Plus Ireland has a wonderful quality wool and is almost forced to throw it away. Processing wool in Ireland, on any commercial level is, at this point and time, non existent. Did you know Ireland generates around 5 000 000 (Five million) kilos of wool every year? And did you know that the wool from Ireland has to be shipped to China or UK for processing? Not all the wool, majority stays here rotting because we keep on buying that lovely plastic fabrics and farmers just don't know what to do with all this wool. We have organized with Mr Fergal Byrne to get the fleeces of him. He has organic farm in Kildare and is doing everything the nature way. He brought to us more fleeces than we asked for and we paid a much fairer price to him than that of 15 cent per kilo.
All the wool that was brought to us from Kildare was unprocessed raw fleeces that we than wash, dry, card, hopefully soon dye and than felt. Bongo is finding that raw fleeces are one of his favourite things, so I started making pet beds with them fleeces. We are calling on all the Irish felt makers and knitters to choose local wool, better yet raw fleeces and than start processing them. We know it is more expensive once it is processed by hand BUT if you are processing wool by hand this is not an easy task and it is than reflected in the price. It would be so much easier for us to have just went and ordered processed wool and just had that one job of felting, but this wouldn't help the farmers deal with the ever growing problem of the inability to sell their wool. Only machine we have so far to help us process the wool is Carding machine called Saviour. Everything else is done by hand.
These are just some of the plans and ideas that we have turned to life. There is so much more we could all be doing with wool. But for the moment the most important thing all of us have to do is to create demand for Irish wool, grown, sheared, processed and sold in Ireland wool. This is the way and the only way, we as people can help Irish farmers, that not only have loads of wool, but are responsible that we have organically grown food and meat on our table. Farmers are the most important part of any society, we have to pay them respect by choosing only the produce they are growing for us, wool they are generating each year for us and stop importing things we are abundant in. I'd love to recommend you to have a read of this article. It explains the desperation, price and unsustainability of the Irish farmers. Love to all,