Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Our New Collection

Much of our small range of clothing has grown and developed as we have gone along, inspired by the countryside around us and the materials we work with. We're not part of the scene that produces seasonal launches of new collections - there's only the two of us for starters! But, back at the beginning of this year, we decided it was time for an overhaul. 

There has been much design work and pattern cutting, frustrations at getting yarns and fabrics delivered to the right specs....and the wait for them to be delivered!

But - we're there! Inspired (as we often are)by the 1930s and 40s, times of change for women and a period when clothing had to become practical as well as stylish; we got hooked into how flying and cycling and skiing had become hugely popular with ladies, and by the skills of women aviators - unsung skills during the war years.

And then we have been extremely fortunate in our friends, with the resulting photo shoot against the backdrop of the Black Mountains Gliding Club here above Talgarth. Photography is by Rosie Prosser, a Talgarth girl with a great talent. 

The Jacket (above) is knit from Shetland wool in it's natural undyed shade of grey. The stitch is slightly textured, the shape is fitted and it works beautifully over our wool flannel bias-cut dress. Perfect afternoon elegance!

With a nod to the flying jacket, our knit version has a jacquard pattern of......aeroplanes! Inspired by a wonderful old photo of a model airshow, with planes of all shapes and sizes laid out ready for take off. Brilliant with the new wool flannel trousers, easy over the hips with buttons to fasten, and narrow rumpling (?) ankles.

The pattern on the jumper (left)is derived from a single aeroplane pink!A deep ribbed welt and plain sleeves give it a lovely vintage feel. 

This image (left)shows the pretty shaped neckline of the bias dress. It's all fully lined too, in silky bamboo.

The collection will be up on our website in time for the start of Autumn, but if you can't wait then do get in touch to find out more. We are also keeping our rail stocked in The Old Electric Shop, Hay on Wye, Powys with a selection of the new pieces.


Friday, 5 April 2013

Organic Wool Wales - coming together

It's just 3 weeks to Wonderwool Wales where we'll be setting up the Organic Wool Wales exhibition with completed report and a short 'farm to finish' video. 

To recap:

The Organic Wool Fabric Project is a collaboration between designer makers, Llynfi Textiles, and organic wool producer, Ystrad Farm. It is part funded by Better Organic Business Links, Wales. It aims:

  • to raise the profile and explore the potential of organic wool
  • to establish a broad community of interest that spans wool producers, designers, makers and the general public
  • to showcase the potential for organic wool and the quality, innovation and commitment to sustainability of designer/makers in the UK.

Check the previous post to see the list of makers, who are all busy completing their contributions. We are starting to receive finished items now, and it's getting very exciting. The techniques being employed are stunning, including a needlefelted British hedgerow scene on a dress, blackwork embroidery, felting, screen printing,'s going to be an inspirational collection, and all will have been produced from the same cloth.

Here are a few photos of some of the work so far -

There'll be red patent leather boots, lined with the wool, from Ruth Emily Davey and Rose Wood:

Beautiful needlefelt work from Lou Tonkin:

Traditional embroidery techniques from Roseanna Jiggins, KIAB Textiles, on an outfit inspired by a 1920's bra and pantaloons:

Superb pattern cutting from Robbie Higney Paterson, Second City Glasgow:

A collaboration between Suzi Park, Emma Burgess and Clare Baumfield who will be combining their skills in menswear design, embroidery and felting:

Helen Hickman at Nellie & Eve will be using her handspinning and crochet skills to embellish her cushion designs:

More photos as they arrive! In the meantime, do check back to the previous post and look up the designers own blogs and websites for more information about them all. 

Wonderwool Wales is on at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells, Powys over the weekend of 27th-28th April. If you love natural fibres , you'll love this show!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Organic Wool Project - the Designers

All the fabric has been sent, hopefully everyone's busy and we're looking forward to seeing the results! I thought you might like to check out who's who so here's a list of our contributors and links to more info about them where this is available. (Those in bold are Welsh based).

Andrea de Costa:
Andrea is adding bark and making up accessories; this sounds a really interesting design idea!

Anja has done a lot of work experimenting with natural dyes and will be bringing this into play with her jacket.

Anna is applying carefully considered pattern cutting to make full use of the fabric for a child's jacket

Camille Jacquemart
Camille is drawing inspiration from St Fagan's, the Welsh Museum of Rural Life for her overshirt; she has spent the past year travelling and working in Wales with farmers and processors to learn all about wool.

Ellie will be combining the two weaves into a corset, working on her 'off grid' farm in Yorkshire

Emma Burgess, Suzi Park, Claire Baumfield (collaboration): 
This is an exciting combination of skills to produce a man's shirt: menswear design, natural dyes and felting and embroidery.

Hannah J Scott:
A screen printer, Hannah will be producing a blanket size piece for the Project

Hannah Auerbach George
Hannah will be applying her knowledge of how wool is good for babies, with her very sweet sleeping bag.

Helen is also a handspinner and will be adding her handspun yarns to cushions

Jacqueline lives and works near Aberaeron, stitching and felting, and teaches textile crafts

Leonie is a costume designer and has a very cool hoodie for us

Lorraine Pocklington:
Lorraine makes beautiful felted hats and other wearables; she'll be adding leather to her production for something different!

Lou Tonkin
Lou is an illustrator with a huge passion for wool and she'll be applying her skills by needlefelting onto a dress. Take a look at her website to see her beautiful work.

Lou makes rather lovely contemporary furniture - looking forward to seeing the end result here!

Mick is the 'guerilla upholsterer' - check out his blog for some pics! He'll be using the fabric to update a 60's chair.

Now Rosie has something completely different for us! Bear in mind that her forte is beachwear and lingerie....

Robbie Higney Paterson:
Robbie hails from Glasgow and is an expert pattern cutter, very much looking forward to this design: you can see some images on the Organic Wool Project Facebook page :

Rose and Ruth are getting together to design and make a rather special pair of boots

Will be posting updates this week, so keep up to date on this blog and with these links:

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Organic Wool Project - updates

So! All is well under way with applications to take part in the Organic Wool fabric Project and we've been sending out small samples of the two fabrics that have been woven. If you want to take part there is still time, but you need to get in touch as soon as possible! You can now also contact me at

We've got the beginnings of the web-site up and running and will be adding information as the Project unfolds. We want to create a lively and vibrant community to spread the word about organic wool - not just as knitting yarn, but as woven fabrics too. Take a note of

One thing has already been becoming clear - it's not easy getting your hands on wool cloth certified to Global Organic Textile Standards, which is the highest standard so far available. Yet designers are searching for it.

It's possible to commission your own run, but for many new, small and independent designers and maker wanting this is not financially possible. A topic for further discussion?

Friday, 1 February 2013

The Welsh Organic Wool Project: Information for Designer-Makers

The Organic Wool Project: Information for Designer-Makers

The Organic Wool Fabric Project is a collaboration between designer makers, Llynfi Textiles, and organic wool producer, Ystrad Farm. It is part funded by Better Organic Business Links, Wales. It aims:

  • to raise the profile and explore the potential of organic wool
  • to establish a broad community of interest that spans wool producers, designers, makers and the general public
  • to showcase the potential for organic wool and the quality, innovation and commitment to sustainability of designer/makers in the UK.

We all know wool is great! Sustainable, natural, traditionally British, both cool and warm in many ways. Organic Wool takes it all further:

copyright Juliet Morris

·      it all starts with the organic farm, caring deeply for the land, not just producing but also investing – in strong natural eco-systems, for today and tomorrow;
·      and organic sheep, properly cared for, to welfare standards that build healthy immune systems and avoid the routine or unnecessary use of drugs and chemicals - including pesticides on fleeces;
·      which means organic wool starts its processing journey free of harmful residues and continues that way – through scouring, carding and spinning – with none of the environmentally polluting treatments, aggressive acids, toxic chemicals, petroleum products, chlorine, enzymes, plasticisers that may be used on conventional wool;
·      even the dyeing, if it needs to be done, must be with modern low impact dyes or natural dyes, avoiding dangerous heavy metals;
copyright Juliet Morris
·      and finally, the organic certification standards apply to knit and weave - making sure that finished products are fully traceable, all the way back to the organic fleece … and that textile workers are treated fairly too!

BUT … organic wool produced in the UK rarely realises this potential. Whilst we’ve woken up to organic cotton, the demand for locally produced organic wool barely reaches beyond the sheep. Once shorn, the organic value of its fleece is lost. Shear waste!

The aim of this project is to champion the possibilities for organic wool - through a report, a website ….and the imagination of selected designer–makers to create a small collection of products to showcase some specially commissioned, GOTS certified, Welsh Wool Fabric.

Which is where you come in!

Successful applicants will receive a length of the Wool Fabric to make their item. (Please note:  there will not be a charge for this but, due to the high value of the fabric, we will require a deposit in the form of a cheque which will be returned to you on receipt of your entry. )

We want to create a talking point, a think piece, a chance to raise the debate. If you believe in the value of wool, if you care about the textiles you use in your work, then we need your help getting the message out!

We envisage: a carefully curated and eclectic collection of … women’s, children's and men's wear … accessories … millinery … footwear … interiors  … cushions … lampshades … toys … anything else … ? Over to you!

Initially, the collection will showcase at Wonderwool Wales, Builth Wells, Powys 27th - 28th April and, of course, be promoted online. We’ll set up a blog and a facebook page for contributors. We want an online community with plenty of thoughts, ideas, and good stories - key to capturing media attention and getting our collection on the road. We have financial backing from Organic Centre Wales and the promotional support of the Soil Association, and we’re going to make the most of it.

The prize if you’re selected? No money - but your work on display, with your details alongside, and your own chance to promote your part in this pioneering project - raising the profile and releasing the potential of home-grown organic WOOL.

The Essential Stuff.

Contact for the full details. It's really important that you read the terms and conditions and then, if you’re happy with it all, fill in the application form - signed please (but returned by email is fine).  

In the meantime, any questions? Don't hesitate to ask. 

Llynfi Textiles
Ystrad Farm
Organic Centre Wales
Soil Association
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS)