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The Wool Wire | December 27, 2023

Snooze on five-star pillows, and journey to South Africa, Canada, and Montana.

Clara Parkes
Clara Parkes
3 min read
The Wool Wire | December 27, 2023
Faces in the snow. // Photo by Duncan McNab / Unsplash

News snippets from the wool world

Hello, and a very happy last few days of 2023 to you!

I've pulled together an extra dose of wooly escapism and armchair travel for you.

But first, here's my first Wool Short. I debunk debunk the claim that cotton can be just as good as cashmere or wool in the winter.

Coming next: Can wool make us smarter? Be sure to subscribe to TWC on YouTube to be notified whenever a new Wool Short comes out.

Foundation Flockers, join me on December 31st at 2pm EST for our New Year's Eve Flock Talkstraveganza. I'll be sending an email with all the details in a few days.

And now, back to this week's Wool Wire!

Our journey through the wool world begins with some good news for anyone who's hooked on wool pillows and likes to travel. Then, we go to South Africa to see how they're marketing their wool, before heading to Canada to meet the woman whose family imported the very first Shetland sheep to Canada 40 years ago. And then, we watch the first installment of a new video series from a TikTok shearing superstar.

Let's go!

Sheep Dreams

Here's some fabulous news for anyone looking to travel in Ireland next year. If you're really lucky, you might find yourself in one of the five-star hotels that's adding wool pillows to its bedding.

Galway-based wool business making pillows for 5-star hotels
A Galway-based wool business has partnered with two five-star hotels to produce bespoke, king-size wool pillows.

The partnership is encouraging because pillows require springy wool from sheep whose coats don't have as great a commercial value as Merino. With those farmers struggling to find a market, this could open a new and very welcome revenue stream.

It's a win-win situation. Farmers get a market for their wool, and travelers get a good night's sleep.

Fleece to Fabric: Wool in South Africa

Almost half of the world's Responsible Wool Standard-certified wool comes from South Africa. It's a huge player that we don't hear about nearly enough.

So let's get lost in a relatively new marketing video from Cape Wools SA, the official industry representative organization of the South African wool industry. You'll find gorgeous footage of the South African countryside, sheep, fiber processing facilities, designers, artisans, and garments.

O Canada

The Campaign for Wool in Canada has launched a video series called "The Fabric of Canada," which tells the unique stories of Canadian wool and the Canadians who work to transform it.

I especially loved this video, which profiles Carole Precious. Her family introduced the first Shetland sheep to Canada over 40 years ago. It's a remarkable story.

A Shearing Superstar Hits the Road

This next story is proof of what two people can accomplish if they work hard enough.

Katie McRose and her wife Darian run a traveling shearing company called Right Choice Shearing. She began sharing funny and informative videos in early 2021 and has since amassed almost 3 million followers on TikTok and another 2.3 million on YouTube—confirming that people really are hungry to know more about sheep and their wool.

Her videos have educated a whole new generation of consumers about what she calls "the ethical cultivation of wool," providing a much-needed factual counterbalance to PETA's relentless claims. Best of all, Katie does it with upbeat confidence.

Now, Katie and Darian are launching a new long-form video series called Fiber Country. In it, they travel the globe to highlight how fiber has survived in different cultures around the world.

The first episode arrived last week. So make some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy this trip to the Helle ranch in Montana.

That's it for now!

Thank you as always for your readership and your support.

Wishing you all the very best in the New Year,



Clara Parkes

Wool is life. I make The Wool Channel go.


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