Here at wool tops we believe that knowing where our wool comes from and building good relationships with our farmers is a vital part of the traceability of our products. We’re quite passionate about this, passionate enough to travel 8,000 miles to the Falkland Islands where some of our farmers live.
Our adventure began at Brize Norton where we flew out with the RAF to Port Stanley. The flight took 18 hours with a refuel on the Ascension Island and so it was a strange experience when we emerged from the plane to a landscape that felt very much like Ilkley moor: wild and windswept with old LandRovers, English pubs, a slower pace of life, the Union Jack flying and...... penguins.
Each farms is miles away from the other and we had to fly around the islands landing on fields where the sheep had to be shooed out of the way in order for us to land.
Sheep farming has a long and successful tradition on the Falklands being introduced in the mid 1800s.
The islands have very few trees and there is no shelter from the incessant wind, falcons swoop and farming is hard yet we were made welcome wherever we went. Visitors are few here and our visits were celebrated with home brew and many stories; one of the farmers told us about his great great great grandfathers who had settled there after being shipwrecked on the way to South America.
The main breeds of sheep here are Merino, Polwarth & Corriedale, and with the weather conditions being wet and windy, produce great wool for hand spinning.
We had planned our visit to coincide with shearing time and were able to observe the clip and the strict grading procedures that produce excellent wool for tops and yarns.
Our farmers know that they are important to us and making the effort to meet them and see them in action and experiencing the landscape in which our wool is sourced makes us confident about the superb quality of our wool tops and yarns and we know that you will appreciate that.