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Unique Yorkshire Dales wool project

Paving the way for more sustainable and entirely traceable wool yarn products.

28th October 2021

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Clapham. Yorkshire, UK


UK countrywear clothing brand Glencroft is to launch a traceable ‘Farm to Yarn’ wool collection in 2022, following a grant from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund (SDF).

Glencroft was awarded £5,000 in grant funding from the SDF to support the project, which it hopes could pave the way for the production of more sustainable and entirely traceable wool yarn products.

As part of the Clapdale Wool Project, Glencroft will purchase wool fleeces from local farms within a five-mile radius of its base in Clapham at a competitive price. The wool will then be scoured, processed and spun in a variety of local factories and mills in Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire-made yarn, which will be traceable from farm to end product, will be used to make a range of sustainable woollen knitwear, knitting yarn and tweed products, which will be sold online by Glencroft.

Inspired by a similar project in the UK’s Lake District which used wool from the Herdwick breed, Glencroft owner Edward Sexton, has brought together a team of British wool and fashion design experts to create a Yorkshire equivalent using traditional and modern sheep breeds, including Dalesbred, Texel, Teeswater and Blue Faced Leicester.

“By using breeds from the hills which surround us in Clapham, we will produce a wool that relates directly to the economy here in 2021 – not just the traditional rare breeds like the Dalebred, but a combination of the old and the new,” he said. “This year we will use wool from two local Clapham farms, both of whom farm their sheep in the fields around us.”

“Wool production in the Dales is part of our cultural heritage and for too long it has been undervalued,” added local farmer John Dawson. “It has many qualities including being a naturally grown and a totally sustainable product of nature.”

The Clapdale Wool Project will create a circular economy in the Yorkshire Dales allowing local farmers to be paid more for their fleece, with 10% of profits fed directly back to local farmers.

The Flock, creator of British breed-specific traceable yarn, together with knitwear brand KnitLab North, will play an integral role in the feasibility of the initiative which, at a time of plummeting wool prices, is bucking the national trend by investing in the t material.

The exact provenance of each product will be detailed clearly on labels which will allow consumers to see the exact sheep breeds used in the yarn, their qualities, history and how they relate to the Yorkshire Dales.

It is hoped that the yarn and knitwear collection will be available to buy in the first half of 2022.

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