Grown by Bluefaced Leicesters in Lancashire & Yorkshire
Bluefaced Leicester sheep yield the finest fleece of any sheep in England. They are kept by farmers in the North-West to breed with hill ewes to make strong, healthy lambs well suited to the landscape and climate. They have peaky roman noses, perky ears and long lustrous fleeces. Quite the woolly Romeos!
< 60 miles
< 60 miles
to Scourers, Carders & Combers
Raw fleece is laden with natural oils that keep the sheep warm and dry through an English winter. To turn it into wool our fleeces are washed with organic detergent to draw out the oil, which is then sold on for use in lanolin balms and cosmetics. The soapy water is then recycled while the fluffy fleeces are blown through huge pipes to the carding machines where their fibres are aligned forming ‘slivers’ - coiled soft snakes of wool. The waste wool from these processes is called ‘noil’ and is sold on to be used to stuff teddy bears and cushions. Lastly the slivers are combed to align the fibres.
< 20 miles
At a dye house fibre is then dyed in huge vats to the desired shade. Did you know that synthetic dyes are made from petrochemicals, which take millions of years to decompose? Fortunately sheep look great in ecru, and occasionally different shades of brown and black - and so will you! We are working on a way of natural dyeing at scale, so watch this space. In the meantime Herd knitwear is undyed and so fully circular, and will nourish the soil at the end of its long and useful life.
< 20 miles
Combed wool is turned into yarn. It first goes through a gilling machine which blends the fibre to the exact right shade, sometimes up to eight times to get it just right. Roving thins out the yarn to the right weight. Then it’s spun and wound onto hank, or ball or cone.
< 70 miles
To Knitters & Finishers
In the knitwear world Nottingham is known for the skill of it’s finishers - the joiners who put sleeves to cardigans and cuffs and hems to jumpers. A really good finisher is hard to find so take a moment to look at the joins in your knitwear - it’s no mean feat to get it just right!
We found a small boutique knitwear factory that makes luxury knitwear, and that’s where we make your Herd.
total <230 miles
“It was a labour of pure love to bring together Herd. Every piece of the supply chain working in harmony with the next, to create fully circular and beneficial knitwear ”