New group aims to improve the value of wool
Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere has launched The Wool Gathering to unite farmers and flock owners with the makers and creators who use the wool they produce.
The versatility of wool offers ‘green potential’ that is yet to be fully explored, and the Wool Gathering has drawn the interest of multi-sector partners including NFUS, South of Scotland Enterprise, and local art and craft development organisation, Upland.
The group will focus on ‘Biosphere wool’ including from Blackface sheep, whose wool has been historically regarded as unsuitable for garments.
The Biosphere is keen to research its potential for knitted outdoor clothing which could see the breed enjoy something of a rebrand.
The Wool Gathering is in discussion with the British Wool Marketing Board about how to maintain the farm provenance of Blackface wool.
It has also launched two surveys to gather the opinions and expertise of people who are already producing or working with wool.
Dr Joan Mitchell, chairwoman of the Biosphere’s Partnership Board and founder member of The Wool Gathering, said: “We are confident with the cooperation of the British Wool Marketing Board, local sheep breeders and wool users we can restore the links in the supply chain.
"It’s something we can build on and improve for the benefit of the local economy and for future generations of farmers.’
For more information visit www.facebook.com/groups/gsabwool.