The versatility of wool offers a “green potential” that has yet to be fully explored and the Wool Gathering has attracted the interest of partners from several sectors including NFUS, South of Scotland Enterprise and the local arts and crafts development organization Upland.
The group will focus on “Biosphere wool,” including blackface sheep, whose wool has historically been viewed as unsuitable for clothing.
The Biosphere is keen to explore its potential for knitted outdoor apparel that could allow the breed to be rebranded.
The Wool Gathering is discussing with the British Wool Marketing Board how to preserve the farm ancestry of blackface wool.
It has also launched two surveys to collect the opinions and expertise of people who already produce or work with wool.
Dr. Joan Mitchell, Chair of Biosphere’s Partnership Board and founding member of The Wool Gathering, said, “We are confident that through the collaboration of the British Wool Marketing Board, local sheep farmers and wool consumers, we can restore the links in the supply chain.
“We can build on this and improve it for the benefit of the local economy and future generations of farmers.”