Wool is Nature’s own performance fibre and we grow our own managing the process all the way from Wool to Wardrobe®. To guarantee the quality and traceability of the wool used in our clothes we started our own fine wool flock. We saw an opportunity to combine wool growing with the holistic management of our farmland. An opportunity where we could produce truly sustainable outdoor clothing with wool grown by sheep cared for to the very highest welfare standards and use the process as a method to enhance the natural environment of our farm.
Merino sheep have long been prized for their soft, high quality wool. Our best rams grow fibres with an average diameter of just 16.5microns making their wool some of the finest in the world.
Every year we sample and test our flock’s wool, measuring fibre diameter, crimp and length. We continually assess the wool we’re growing combining empirical information with conformational assessments of each sheep. This data guides our breeding programme as we breed and nurture healthy resilient sheep that grow strong fine wool and are suited to our Wessex ecosystem.
Our flock are graze on herb rich pastures and improved grasslands. Through our detailed knowledge of the farm we plan cycles that work with the seasons, soils and the natural ecosystems. The sheep move from field to field as we carefully managing their protein consumption and ensure an even growth of the fibre profile of the wool. An essential art for producing the strong fine wool needed for our clothes.
We also actively improve our pastures, over-seeding different species and bioactive forages such as Chicory and Birdsfoot Trefoil whose anthelmintic properties provide natural wormers for our sheep reducing the need for chemicals.
The finest Merino wool is grown when the sheep are exposed to extremes of temperature, with the height of summer and depths of winter the optimum times to shear and harvest the finest wool from our flock. A consistent shearing time also helps to provide consistent fibre length, important in the manufacture of our fabrics.
After shearing each fleece is carefully checked and weighed to provide data for our flock planning.
Once shorn our wool heads north to Yorkshire where in one of the oldest family wool mills in England it is turned from fleece to fabric. Cleaned, graded, spun, woven and finished using specialist machinery the knowledge of multiple generations is used to create the specialist fabric for our Stag Shirts and clothes.