Get up close and personal with our yarns and learn more about how they are produced.
Our woollen yarns use 100% natural are all produced in Peru. Our Crazy Sexy Wool comes from the fleece of sheep raised in the Peruvian highlands. These slopes are also the home to the alpacas who produce the fleece that becomes our Sugar Baby Alpaca and alpaca blends. For our Sheepaca and Wooly Bully yarns, which are a blend of alpaca and merino wool, the merino is sourced from Uruguay, where the sheep are looked after with the same loving care as our Peruvian flocks.
When we started our woolly adventure, we travelled to Peru ourselves to meet with the suppliers and farms to ensure that all production processes met with the values of Wool and the Gang. We believe that it’s our responsibility to do our best to look after our planet, its people and its animals.
The animals who produce the wool for our yarns are looked after on small family farms in the Peruvian highlands. These farmers are the descendants of a long line of alpaca breeders. They combine alpaca and sheep breeding with smallholding and need to manage the livestock well for their livelihood – this means that they take care with breeding, shearing and the general welfare of their animals.
From fleece to yarn
Care is taken with each step of the manufacturing process:
First our woolly friends are shorn – there is no mulesing* involved at all.
The dyed tops are then spun into yarn.
Care is taken with each step of manufacturing our yarns – renewable energy sources power the process and close attention is paid to safety. There is no child labour involved in the production process – Peru has very strict policies outlawing this.
Our wool is not vegan, however we have alternative yarns that are really cool and are upcycled from the textile industry. They would normally end up in a landfill, however we recycle these materials to give them a second life. Our Jersey Be Good is a t-shirt yarn made from the offcuts of fabric rolls and our Mixtape yarn is regenerated from the scraps of jersey production.
Read about the production of our Jersey Be Good: http://blog.woolandthegang.com/2015/04/fabricated-tales/
Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas over 6,000 years ago and are part of the Camelidae family, which includes llamas, guanacos and vicunas from South America, and camels from Asia and Africa.
There are around 3.5 million alpacas in the world today – 3 million of these live in Peru, 10,000 feet above sea level.
Alpaca fibre lacks lanolin, which makes it hypo-allergenic, and it comes in 16 recognised natural shades – no other animal fibre offers this natural variety in colour.
Baby alpaca fibres are those taken from the nape and the neck of the animal, which are the softest and most beautiful.
We share the planet with approximately 1,084,305,000 sheep at any one time and there around 900 different breeds!
China boasts the largest sheep population, however Australia is the biggest producer of clean raw wool, with a whopping 245,000 tonnes being produced every year – that’s 80% of the wool used in clothing!
New Zealand, Mongolia and Australia all have more than three times as many sheep as people.
An average sheep produces 4.5kg of fleece – that’s around seven woolly sweaters.
*Mulesing is a practice quite commonly used in Australia to reduce the incidence of flystrike – we’ve googled this so you don’t have to; it’s an infestation of maggots. Again, you may not want to google this practise as it involves surgically removing skin from around the breech and tail area of the sheep.
Get to know our yarns a little better on our Meet the Yarn pages. It’s okay to have a favourite – we won’t tell.