Better Quality Fleece
Approximately 50% of the wool produced in Nova Scotia is simply discarded – by burning, landfilling, tossing in the woods. Some people use it as mulch in their gardens or hanging baskets.
Taking more care with your wool can reduce waste and create profits for yourfarm.
The Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers Ltd. (CCWG) have a free publication available for download on their website, entitled: A Guide for the Care and Handling of Your Wool Clip, which was partly authored by long-time Nova Scotia sheep producer Marg Zillig. If you’re interested in reducing waste and adding revenue to your farm, start with this guide. You can also obtain a hard copy by contacting Ruth Mathewson, CCWG Atlantic Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wool can be marketed through a variety of channels. High quality fleeces can command high prices but the quality must, indeed, be there. More information on what fibre artists and crafters are looking for in fleeces and other fibres is located here.
There are several woolen mills in the Maritimes that may be interested in buying your fibre or that offer custom processing. Please note that the custom mills may have long wait times and you should contact them well in advance of when you hope to have your fibre processed.
MacAuslands Woolen Mill on Prince Edwards Island and Briggs & Little in New Brunswick may also purchase your high quality fleeces. You can request yarn back from them at a discounted price but they do not do custom processing for those wishing to market their own fibre in different forms.
Taproot Fibre Lab in Canard can create batting or roving from clean wool. Spinning services may be offered in the future.
Christine Campbell in Kensington, Prince Edward Island has a full-service custom mill. Fleece and Harmony is another full-service mill soon to open on Prince Edward Island.
Legacy Lane in Sussex, New Brunswick also offers custom mill services. Legacy Lane specializes in alpaca.
Belfast Mini Mills once offered custom processing on Prince Edward Island but no longer does due to the high needs of their own shop.
There are other mills across Canada and the United States that are utilized by Nova Scotia fibre producers. Ask other producers for their recommendations.