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I would love to see the woolen industry rise from the ashes

 
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Travis, The day after Thanksgiving would work great. I do have family obligations on Thanksgiving. Just let me know a time and place. I do not celebrate Black Friday Shopping chaos, so I am free for sure.
 
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Some interesting ideas from the BBC http://www.bbc.com/news/business-42229842


David
 
Josephine Howland
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David, that is an interesting article. Thank you for sharing.
 
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I might have missed it but didn't see any posts in this thread with reference to this California company Duren DyeWorks
                                                                         
 

...a Yarn and Fiber Studio
Duren DyeWorks specializes in fleece processing and custom carding of hand spinning fleeces. We are a small fiber studio that hand processes wool and other animal fibers into beautiful batts and hand-dizzed roving for the handspinner.  Sheep shearing and fiber festival season is upon us, and my obsession is your gain. I will take your raw unwashed fleece and turn it into clean, soft, fluffy batts or hand-dizzed roving. If you haven't spun from a hand processed fleece before, you will be amazed at how soft and bouncy the yarn is. Batts and roving can be spun many different ways from woolen to semi-worsted, depending on spinning technique and desired yarn.




Skirting and prepping : Please skirt your fleece before sending it to be processed. Spread your fleece out on a large flat surface with the "pretty" cut side down so the "dirty" side is facing up. Remove anything  and everything from around the outside edges of the fleece that look poopy, felted, matted, or globbed with grease. Carefully look over your fleece and pick out any bits of grass, hay, stickers, etc. that you would not want in your finished batts or roving. The better job you do skirting and prepping your fleece translates to a much better finished product. Turn the fleece over so the cut side is up. Look for and remove any second cuts(short chunks of wool).



They also have an etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/shop/DurenDyeWorks with lovely yarns... wool, yak, and silks.  

I came across them in an odd way.  I found a small bag of yarn at my favorite thrift shop yesterday...it was special, not the usual four ply acrylic that is usually there.  When I inspected it more closely at home I found a folded piece of tag in one of the balls with DurenDyeWorks name.  I'm doing some burn tests to see exactly what I've got...all is lace weight and some is apparently a wool/silk blend and others wool/yak/silk?  I'm trying to compare at their etsy shop.  Beautiful color ranges and lovely feel.


 
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Just a comment. I could not find a natural fiber beanie anywhere for a long time and then started seeing them for high prices as part of a charity clothing line. Finally, just as I had decided to buy and consider it a donation, my daughter went to Iceland and found a simple beanie for me for Christmas (still waiting to see it). It cost the same. Handmade. Probably out of wool. My point is that there is a market out there. There needs to be attention paid to exposure in the market. The idea of having regional co-ops is a very good idea - like the organic dairy people have. I guess I should go on Etsy or someplace. I'd like to buy some more things but my old sources have changed or dried up. High quality, consistent sizing, good customer service. Buying from the producer is becoming more and more popular. This approach works so often it might work again!
 
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For making wool stuffing, I think a picker would do an excellent job, and is much faster than carding. I used a Pat Green picker and it did a wonderful job of fluffing up the fleece, getting some of the vegetable matter out, and was much faster and more brainless than carding. I also want to mention that blending some alpaca fleece with the wool does wonders for the softness and warmth of the finished product. Not useful so much for pillow stuffing, but for garments or blankets, the blend is really nice.
 
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I read your comment through, Candace, before wondering to myself, "What do those funny little yarmulke-looking hats with the propellers on them have anything to do with the woolen industry?"

Then I remembered that, for some reason, what we in the North call toques, those shapeless woolen hats designed to keep your head from freezing and your ears from falling off, you call beanies.

My favourite toque is black wool, handknit by my girlfriend's mother, who also hand-knits my favourite socks. I am wearing a pair right now. Sooo comfy.

My girlfriend had a great idea for supporting the local woolen industry. We're doing on the cheap, and we're trying to get her mom to see it as a business opportunity herself, but we are going to be giving custom-made, hand-knit socks to my family for next Christmas, using wool local to her. We are going to commission them, and pay her for them based on the going rate for hand-knit socks on online craft marketplaces like Etsy.

If we want to see the woolen industry rise from the ashes, we should probably look to raising it ourselves. Find a local knitter whose work you like and do your Christmas or birthday shopping early. Vote (or motivate) with your dollar.

-CK
 
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The Netherlands are a very different country from the USA in many ways. The climate here is like in England or Ireland. But the way things are organised here, the traditional way people do and view things, is different.
There still are many sheep here, at least in the eastern parts of the country (where I live). The western part, Holland, is more known for the cows, as is Friesland in the North.
There used to be wool industry, long ago, in the time of the 'industrial revolution'. Textile towns of the past were Tilburg (in the South, close to Belgium) and Enschede (in the East, close to Germany). I'm talking of real large factories now. No 'woolen mills'. We don't have enough hydro power, most mills here are windmills and they were for pumping the water out of low lands, or for making flour from grains.
So the 'wool industry' here existed in large factories where the total production process went from fleece to blanket or garment. Producing yarns (for knitting) was only part of what they did (well known Dutch yarns were Scheepjeswol and Van Wijk).
At the other side were spinners who worked at home with a spinning wheel. Most of them produced yarn for their own or local use. This skill was almost vanished in my young years, the 1970s. Then spinning came back in fashion, but more for fun, for making 'art yarns'. Since the 1970s some home spinners went on. The development was towards the 'environmentally friendly' side of using pure sheep (and alpaca) yarns.
Some years ago the movement of Fibershed became known too here in the Netherlands. In two different regions (Zeeland and Overijssel) a small start was made for local Fibershed actions. The little group in Deventer, Overijssel, has grown now. Several spinners, knitters, designers, felters and weavers. Their activities are built around the Deventer Schaapskudde (herd of sheep that graze the grass in public parks).
They were searching for a 'mill', because there is more wool, and more demand for products, than they can spin on their spinning wheels. From them I heard someone has really started such a mill, with old machines from Germany. As far as I know they still do only carding, but the plan is to start spinning too (but the machine has to be repaired).
 
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Some folks on the thread confess to not wearing wool, which is my case also. I think wool has 3 problems:
1/ people think of it as itchy, scratchy.
2/ going from the raw materials to the finished product makes it an expensive item.
3/ The competition of cheaper natural fibers such as cotton, and soon, perhaps, hemp in clothing. Although hemp is lighter and is better suited for wicking moisture away.
4/ Caring for wool products after is more complicated: We have all washed a wool product in hot water by accident with terrible consequences or stored a favorite sweater only to discover the mites have gotten to it.
Yet there are a number of people who raise sheep for meat, and the wool of these animals goes into compost? Certainly it should be possible to use it for insulation as it has definite advantages over the conventional artificial materials. If you raise sheep and can't sell your wool you might want to investigate this thread: I know that if I had to build another insulated structure, wool is the first material I would go to.
https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/can-you-use-sheep-wool-to-insulate-your-home#:~:text=Sheep's%20wool%20insulation%20is%20naturally,pass%20through%20without%20retaining%20it.
As perhaps a 5th problem is that while we have a number of folks raising sheep, sheep *meat* is not as popular as beef or chicken. that too makes it difficult for the wool industry to become a money maker.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:Some folks on the thread confess to not wearing wool, which is my case also. I think wool has 3 problems:
1/ people think of it as itchy, scratchy.
2/ going from the raw materials to the finished product makes it an expensive item.
3/ The competition of cheaper natural fibers such as cotton, and soon, perhaps, hemp in clothing. Although hemp is lighter and is better suited for wicking moisture away.
4/ Caring for wool products after is more complicated: We have all washed a wool product in hot water by accident with terrible consequences or stored a favorite sweater only to discover the mites have gotten to it.
Yet there are a number of people who raise sheep for meat, and the wool of these animals goes into compost? Certainly it should be possible to use it for insulation as it has definite advantages over the conventional artificial materials. If you raise sheep and can't sell your wool you might want to investigate this thread: I know that if I had to build another insulated structure, wool is the first material I would go to.
https://www.buildwithrise.com/stories/can-you-use-sheep-wool-to-insulate-your-home#:~:text=Sheep's%20wool%20insulation%20is%20naturally,pass%20through%20without%20retaining%20it.
As perhaps a 5th problem is that while we have a number of folks raising sheep, sheep *meat* is not as popular as beef or chicken. that too makes it difficult for the wool industry to become a money maker.


Hi Cecile. Most sheep here are raised for meat. And the strange thing is: meat of the Dutch sheep is exported. Most Dutch people never eat lamb or 'mutton'. And most of the leg-of-lamb sold here is imported from New Zealand!
The wool from the meat-sheep here too often ends as trash (not even compost). While using it for insulation should be much better. Strangely enough it's easier to find hemp insulation products than wool insulation ...

As for your points on wool:
1. Yes, many people consider wool itchy. Maybe it is if you're not used to wearing wool. It doesn't feel the same as cotton, or as synthetics. Myself I don't like the feel of synthetic fibers.
2. That would be the same for every fiber. Clothes are cheap because they are produced in 'low-wage' countries and often that isn't the case for wool clothes.
3. Hemp is a very good fiber to grow, as well as flax (linen). Cotton in fact costs a lot more, but those are 'hidden costs', not calculated in the prices of the clothes. And all of those have different properties from wool. It's like comparing apples and pears ...
4. Yes. Cleaning wool is not as easy. But wool doesn't need to be cleaned that often. It doesn't take body odors.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:


Hi Cecile. Most sheep here are raised for meat. And the strange thing is: meat of the Dutch sheep is exported. Most Dutch people never eat lamb or 'mutton'. And most of the leg-of-lamb sold here is imported from New Zealand!
The wool from the meat-sheep here too often ends as trash (not even compost). While using it for insulation should be much better. Strangely enough it's easier to find hemp insulation products than wool insulation ...
As for your points on wool:
1. Yes, many people consider wool itchy. Maybe it is if you're not used to wearing wool. It doesn't feel the same as cotton, or as synthetics. Myself I don't like the feel of synthetic fibers.
2. That would be the same for every fiber. Clothes are cheap because they are produced in 'low-wage' countries and often that isn't the case for wool clothes.
3. Hemp is a very good fiber to grow, as well as flax (linen). Cotton in fact costs a lot more, but those are 'hidden costs', not calculated in the prices of the clothes. And all of those have different properties from wool. It's like comparing apples and pears ...
4. Yes. Cleaning wool is not as easy. But wool doesn't need to be cleaned that often. It doesn't take body odors.



Points well taken, Inge, especially point #2: It enrages me that 98% of our clothing is imported! Just for that, I buy my clothes from Goodwill if I can't afford those made in the US [I treat myself once or twice a year, but otherwise, it is Goodwill]. I'm not very familiar with growing cotton, but I heard that it ravages the land. Growing hemp in Wisconsin used to be an important crop here before some folks went all "War on Drugs" on us and ruined all the hemp producers. My local Senator is trying to bring it back, but with so many rules and regulations that no one can afford to do it unless you are a very rich landowner and can afford the $500 per plot [no matter how small], plus the $500 tax on processing, plus also another fee for inspecting the product. New hemp producers have figured out that if they *store* the hemp for a while before they can get it inspected inspected, the THC concentration gets higher than 0.3% and their entire crop gets burned. It is insane!
I consider it a sin to waste such a valuable item as wool. Using it as insulation would be fabulous. Does Owens Corning have the market on Insulation and prevent any competition? Is that the reason why?
 
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I can speak a little to the wool insulation question above.  In the US, there are about three companies.  At least one of them uses recycled wool from used things like clothing and other consumer products.  Only one that I know of uses all virgin wool.

Havelock Wool insulation is the one I've looked the closest into.  I ordered samples from two companies, and I had an allergic reaction to the one made from recycled wool, and not to the Havelock.  

Here are what the different types of wool insulation available in the US looks like.  I left off one picture, the blown-in or hand-stuff-in virgin wool from Havelock.  It looks just like you might imagine.  It's clean and fluffy, and seems nice enough to make a bed or a pillow out of:



Here is a company that sells all three;

Three types of wool insulation available from ECO Building Products online

The virgin wool brand Havelock also comes in blown-in, but I think you have to buy that direct from the company:

Havelock Wool insulation  That is a very nice product.  The sample they sent me was enough to make a small pillow, had beautiful loft to it, and minimal odor.

My husband and I are building a house, and I wanted to use wool, but there are a few considerations.  First, it's a lot more expensive than fiberglass.  Second, it's only sold via very few outlets.

Third problem though, and I think it's a big one - wool is edible.  Wool insulation products here in the US are treated with some type of insecticide to keep it from being eaten.  Havelock uses boric acid, I believe, while others use different compounds.  One compound is called Thorlan IW in the US, and it is very hard to figure out what it's composed of.  I think US customers are concerned that wool might still be edible.  My husband sure is; he's vetoed my woolen dreams over that issue.

And that's my biggest problem with wool, too, even though I'm not as worried about it in the insulation form.  I have wool clothes and go out of my way to source them.  I crochet with wool as well.  And almost all of my wool clothing has holes in it.  In Oregon they were eaten much faster, but they are still eaten up here in the desert SW.  It's a big bummer to spend a lot on wool and have it holey in a year.  I've not found cedar to work at all - we had an entirely cedar lined closet.  The only thing I've found that works are storing them in airtight containers, and that's a challenge to source well, especially not in plastic.  Plastic totes only work if you tape all the edges.

So I guess it's the maintenance involved that likely keeps people from returning to wool.  After you find some that isn't itchy.  Then washing by hand - which so few people do nowadays (my husband was shocked when he met me and would have navigate the bathroom on wool wash day - things laid out everywhere, being shaped, etc - his reactions was akin to "People still do this?").  To help manage moths, I used to put my clean wool clothes through the dryer (when totally dry of course) periodically in  order to kill any moth larvae.  But now I haven't used a dryer in years, for any of my clothes.  I've found having wool clothing akin to having yet another ferment going - a project with a lot of ongoing scheduled maintenance.

Now without a dryer, I just keep wearing and darning my holey and holier wool.  But it does get frustrating.  Clothes have become blissfully low maintenance, "wash and wear", and that is one really nice thing about modern life, I must admit.  
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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I got the idea as I saw the felt-like material on one of the posts. Perhaps an outlet for raw wool, or perhaps batted wool would be for insulating beehives. I keep mine under a roof so it doesn't rain on them. In zone 4, our hives need protection from the cold in winter. Very sadly I've had hives full of honey that starved to death in the winter: When it gets cold, bees have a hard time to move to where their stores are: If they get cold and cannot move even a 1/4"to where their stored honey is, they just die. The solution to that is if they can have enough insulation to keep the inside warm enough for movement.
The pine boards are about 3/4" at most and where the handles are, barely 1/4". That is not much! especially when the temperatures drop to well below zero. The queen's temperature has to be maintained around 90F [95F is better]. The workers start to die when their core temperature drops below 40F.
A well insulated box, with no drafts is what we all look for. the other problem is that they breathe. Not like we do, with lungs, They have spiracles, 10 of them: holes with a valve to let the air in and out. So the insulation also has to allow them to breath. Beeks keep a small opening at the bottom of the hive and a small hole near the top [They need to leave to die or defecate when weather permits].
Long story short, it is hard to keep them alive without excellent insulation. That is where wool comes in, and it would not matter if it is clean or combed . It would have to be protected from rodents, so behind some sturdy fabric? and espouse the general shape of the hive. I'm sure it can be done. If it could be done with wool, I'd be happier than with regular insulation, which is what I use now [made of recycled jeans]
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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And almost all of my wool clothing has holes in it.  In Oregon they were eaten much faster, but they are still eaten up here in the desert SW.  It's a big bummer to spend a lot on wool and have it holey in a year.  


They say (and I think it's true) in the colder regions there are less moth problems. Moths do not survive freezing temperatures. In Nordic countries people hang their wool sweaters overnight in a dry place outdoors (like a porch). Not only so that 'bad smells' will go away, but also moth larvae will be killed. But you can use a freezer too.
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:
They say (and I think it's true) in the colder regions there are less moth problems. Moths do not survive freezing temperatures. In Nordic countries people hang their wool sweaters overnight in a dry place outdoors (like a porch). Not only so that 'bad smells' will go away, but also moth larvae will be killed. But you can use a freezer too.



I can't believe I hadn't thought of that - cold.  Never occurred to me.  The opposite idea did (hence my using the dryer).  I will throw my woolens in the freezer and see how that does.  Thank you for the tip, Inge.  

How fascinating to think of hanging the wool clothes on the porch in the winter.  I grew up in Oregon, and winters are very, very wet and humid, so leaving wool outside would never have occurred to me.  Even when it snows, it's usually wet and humid.  

That reminds me of a story a friend from Oregon experienced.  She was participating in a farm tour in Greece many years ago and saw where they had laid a whole bunch of onions all over the ground. They left them on the ground day and night, while she was there.  So the next day, my friend asked the 16 year old son (who was one of the farmers) "Why are the onions laid all over the ground like that?"  The young man responded in a bit of teenage style, with that look that says it all "To dry them, of course!".  Duh.  haha!   Seems obvious once you say it, but where we were from in Western Oregon there is no time of year that one could lay anything on the ground several days to dry it! It might dry on top, but it would get damp and moldy on the bottom.

Hence the need for regional solutions, right?  
 
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In this thread people have laid out some of the challenges with the wool industry, particularly all the work involved to get it from a sheep's back to a clean, usable product.  For those who are more video oriented, here is a video from the Savory Institute called the Story of Wool that gives both education and inspiration.  He also has the Story of Meat, the Story of Dairy, and the Story of Leather.  Great videos.



 
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I’d love to see a wool industry revival.  I love wool clothing for hunting fishing and cold weather camping.  And as I am quite close to being ready to acquire a flock having a market for wool would be fantastic.  Since the market is so poor for wool I’m going to get hair sheep.  Well, not just the poor market.   The Himalayan blackberry that is everywhere here can make a wool sheep rather risky to grab onto and would seriously complicate shearing and cleaning of the wool.

Perhaps if a decent market develops for wool in a few years I can consider switching to woolly sheep as the hair sheep by then will have helped a lot with beating back the blackberries to the point I can deal with them effectively.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:I’d love to see a wool industry revival.  I love wool clothing for hunting fishing and cold weather camping.  And as I am quite close to being ready to acquire a flock having a market for wool would be fantastic.  Since the market is so poor for wool I’m going to get hair sheep.  Well, not just the poor market.   The Himalayan blackberry that is everywhere here can make a wool sheep rather risky to grab onto and would seriously complicate shearing and cleaning of the wool.

Perhaps if a decent market develops for wool in a few years I can consider switching to woolly sheep as the hair sheep by then will have helped a lot with beating back the blackberries to the point I can deal with them effectively.


Maybe you can get sheep with combined hair and wool: Icelandic sheep? They can live in the wild (in Iceland).

 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

Andrew Mayflower wrote:I’d love to see a wool industry revival.  I love wool clothing for hunting fishing and cold weather camping.  And as I am quite close to being ready to acquire a flock having a market for wool would be fantastic.  Since the market is so poor for wool I’m going to get hair sheep.  Well, not just the poor market.   The Himalayan blackberry that is everywhere here can make a wool sheep rather risky to grab onto and would seriously complicate shearing and cleaning of the wool.

Perhaps if a decent market develops for wool in a few years I can consider switching to woolly sheep as the hair sheep by then will have helped a lot with beating back the blackberries to the point I can deal with them effectively.


Maybe you can get sheep with combined hair and wool: Icelandic sheep? They can live in the wild (in Iceland).



From what I've read the wool from mixed sheep is usually too low quality to be worth anything, even in places that have a functional wool market.  

I'll be getting Katahdin ewes to start with.  I'm not sure yet what breed ram I'll get.  The  same people with the ewes have an unrelated ram they'd part with, but I'm undecided on that.  I think I want a Dorper ram as the resulting lambs are supposed to be pretty fast growing and will get to a really good size in under a year.  

When my property (or least the portion the sheep primarily use) is free of blackberry vines I might consider switching to a wool breed, if the wool market picks up enough to make the wool at least worth the cost of shearing.  I think someone said a typical shearing is around 8lbs of wool per sheep.  At that amount wool would need to sell for at least $3/lb to pay its own way, let alone provide profit after paying for shearing.  I think that's about 2x the current market price.
 
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:...
From what I've read the wool from mixed sheep is usually too low quality to be worth anything, even in places that have a functional wool market.  
...


My opinion is that all wool is worth something ... Not all wool is right for making clothes, but still it has its value, for other purposes. It is possible that 'the wool market' (in the economic situation nowadays) doesn't value the wool ...
 
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In large scale wool sorting, all wool is kept.  Even the stuff that is caked with poo or too short or too hairy.  All wool has enough market value to be collected and shipped to the wool broker and can be made into something.

If you are selling to hand spinners, mixed with hair sheep isn't such a good plan.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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r ranson wrote:...
If you are selling to hand spinners, mixed with hair sheep isn't such a good plan.


And what about Icelandic wool, like Lopi? It seems those are a mixed type of sheep
 
r ranson
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote:

r ranson wrote:...
If you are selling to hand spinners, mixed with hair sheep isn't such a good plan.


And what about Icelandic wool, like Lopi? It seems those are a mixed type of sheep



It's a language issue.  In the vernacular, we use words interchangeably.  This is because there is so much regional variation before the language became standardized.

But technically, sheep produce three types of fibre.  Hair, wool, and kemp.  These have different structures and behaviours.  

The main fibre Icelandic produce are two types of wool.  The longwool and the inner down.  Both are wool.  Technically, this is a "duel coat" breed, not a mixed.  But in everyday speech, we don't generally make this distinction.  So it's easy to get confused.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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r ranson wrote:...


Thank you for the explanation R.
 
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Kim Goodwin wrote:

It's a big bummer to spend a lot on wool and have it holey in a year.  I've not found cedar to work at all - we had an entirely cedar lined closet.  The only thing I've found that works are storing them in airtight containers, and that's a challenge to source well, especially not in plastic.  Plastic totes only work if you tape all the edges.  

That gave me an idea: one of the shops Hubby likes is called "Princess Auto" and has farm tools along with automotive tools and a good selection of miscellaneous other stuff. One of those "other stuff" things are "ammo boxes". Some of these are metal and have a clamp-on lid with a gasket and come in different sizes. They aren't cheap, but they would last a lifetime. For people living in really high-risk areas, it might be worth it.

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

1/ people think of it as itchy, scratchy.  

Someone gave me a pair of fingerless gloves, and, yes, I get the "itchy, scratchy" part. But I also have some quality wool socks that are totally comfy. But then my sister bought me some cheap wool socks - marginal, I can wear them, but they're not nearly as comfy. Moral of the story is - wrong wool, made poorly, for the wrong place, gives all the excellent wool products out there a bad name! I do wear the gloves as they're the only pair I have like that and there are certain farm activities when it's around freezing that they're awesome for "warmth-wise", but if I spotted a similar pair made like my favorite wool socks, I'd be thrilled.
 
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My mom is also leery of wool, because of the itchy/ scratchy issue she's experienced in the past, likely with a cheaply made item. I think many don't understand that not ALL wool is itchy/scratchy - only some is. It's like almost anything else - one needs the right wool for the job. Angora or cashmere are not a good choice for industrial felt, but make amazing socks, baby garments, under garments, etc, yet people seem to think they're all interchangeable, as in 'wool is wool is wool'.
 
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I don't have much to add at the moment but it always makes me irritated but also giggle a bit when people bring up that it seems every country exports all their lamb/mutton and what is sold in the country is all imported from New Zealand.
The giggle is because of a story from one of the local old fogeys. Their family raised goats. The neighbor also raised goats. None of the kids could possibly eat meat from their own farm because they'd know "who it had been". So the families would each kill an animal and trade so that the kids never had to eat one that they "knew". He said as an adult looking back, did the families actually trade or did the kids just get told that to ease their minds?
 
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kadence blevins wrote: He said as an adult looking back, did the families actually trade or did the kids just get told that to ease their minds?



My husband and I are laughing right now, that is so funny.  I have a similar story.  As a kid, I started refusing to eat pork on the grounds of what I learned from the Old Testament.  My family wasn't of that bent, though.  Years later as a teenager, my sister told me that there were a few dishes where they had all been lying to me and saying it was beef!  Even my Grandmother was in on it!  Oh, the betrayal.  :-D  What would they have done if I had become a vegetarian?  

So I've been taking Inge's advice and freezing all my woolens.  They've been in the freezer a couple weeks now just to be thorough.  I'm going to pull out a tote with a fairly tight fitting lid, put them in, and tape the edges of the lid thoroughly to store them for the warmer months this time.  I have a bunch of darning to do, too.  Little holes...  But hopefully this will stop it and make them last!  Thanks for the tips!
wool.jpg
Freezing wool garments to protect from and stop moth damage
Freezing wool garments to protect from and stop moth damage
 
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Kim Goodwin wrote:

kadence blevins wrote: He said as an adult looking back, did the families actually trade or did the kids just get told that to ease their minds?



My husband and I are laughing right now, that is so funny.  I have a similar story.  As a kid, I started refusing to eat pork on the grounds of what I learned from the Old Testament.  My family wasn't of that bent, though.  Years later as a teenager, my sister told me that there were a few dishes where they had all been lying to me and saying it was beef!  Even my Grandmother was in on it!  Oh, the betrayal.  :-D  What would they have done if I had become a vegetarian?  



My junior high girlfriend went vegetarian in elementary school.  Her parents told her sausage was laid by a pig like a chicken lays an egg.  Worked for a little while.
 
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Here is a cool idea for using felted wool - pet caves!

Cat Cave felted wool pet bed



I agree with some of the comments above that the most likely way for wool to rise from the ashes in the US will be through baby beds, insulation, and also things like this - pet products.  Pet products are definitely the easiest cottage industry to get into, as well.  The baby bed industry would likely require some hardcore sterilization protocols, on account of liability concerns.

I'd be so happy to just buy wool for making pillows, but then I run into the moth issue again.  I could freeze them periodically though.
 
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Kim Goodwin wrote:Here is a cool idea for using felted wool - pet caves!
I agree with some of the comments above that the most likely way for wool to rise from the ashes in the US will be through baby beds, insulation, and also things like this - pet products.  Pet products are definitely the easiest cottage industry to get into, as well.  The baby bed industry would likely require some hardcore sterilization protocols, on account of liability concerns.
I'd be so happy to just buy wool for making pillows, but then I run into the moth issue again.  I could freeze them periodically though.




This is such a cool idea. A pet cave. How do they make the felt stay stiff enough?
The "making pillows" idea is a great one too: It is hypoallergenic and would be a great way to use the wool because past cleaning it, there is no need for carding, spinning, weaving or finishing. That should make it easier to sell too. And *everyone* needs a pillow. If some folks are throwing it away/ composting it, some good money could be earned with pillows. The price could rival most of the pillows they presently have in stores, wouldn't you think? I know I would *prefer* a wool pillow.
As far as the moth issue, we are talking about 72 hours without your favorite pillow as it takes 72 hours in the freezer to kill potential moths.
https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/gotpests/bugs/documents/clothes-moths-cornell.pdf
This article also has a few other ways of keeping these darn moths at bay.
If you own a microwave, you could also microwave your pillow for 3 minutes. You would need a pretty darn big microwave to stuff your pillow in, but "where there is a will there is a way". (;-)
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2777000/Its-worst-moth-invasion-jumpers-microwave.html

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