Laura Rosenzweig on Harvesting Wool…
Some of you may already have your WOVEMBER brooches, covered in 100% WOOL. Some of those brooches you have will feature fabric produced by Laura Rosenzweig of Laura’s Loom! We heard from Laura during the Growing Wool phase of WOVEMBER, about the inspiring landscape in Cumbria where she sources wool for her business. When last we heard from Laura, she was sitting around farmhouse tables in the Lake District, talking to them about doing something amazing with their fleeces… we rejoin her today to hear about how her work with WOOL relates to the wool harvest.
Sitting around those tables with farmers, I heard the same story over and over again – of how the wool cheque used to pay the annual rent on the farm but now barely covers the costs of sharpening the shears – never mind shearing the sheep.
The farmers I met seemed pleased that someone local wanted to do something with their wool and they have supported me every year since I began this work. It never fails to amaze me that even if I’m weeks late in letting them know I would like their wool again, they have already set it aside for me, trusting that I’ll turn up sometime to collect it. I aim to pay a slight premium over the BWMB rate each year. In turn, the farmers make an effort to keep the fleece as clean and dry as they can, although that is very much dependent on the weather.
It rains more in Sedbergh than just about anywhere else in Cumbria, so it’s quite a challenge to clip sheep dry!
A more detailed, in-depth version of the story Laura is sharing throughout WOVEMBER was written for the Autumn 2012 edition of The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers – the Autumn 2012 WOOL ISSUE – a publication which of course WOVEMBER highly recommends! All content in this post © Laura Rosenzweig and used with her kind permission.