Australian Country Spinners, Wangaratta Woollen Mills recently launched its new range of superfine merino wool design to 7000 knitting enthusiasts at America's prestigious craft fair, Vogue Knitting in New York. To ensure there are no "roadblocks to success" the new range of yarn comes from the farms that have ceased mulesing, the fly-strike prevention normally targeted by animal rights groups.
They partnered with superfine woolgrowers who had not-mulesed [their lambs], chief executive Brenda McGahan said. She further said that in launching a new push in the US, the question of animal welfare should not be an obstacle.
The Wangaratta Woollen Mills have been operating since 1923 and is the last of its kind still operating. A once thriving wool processing industry is now almost entirely based offshore, with China buying and processing more than 70 percent of Australia's wool.
Ms McGahan brought the entire executive out of retirement, each having served up to 40 years in the wool yarn spinning and dyeing business, to produce this new range of superfine wool yarn.
They collaborated with the knitting designer Anne Morgan to develop modern patterns under the Cleckheaton label.
The white opalescent of the fleece means the dyes are bright, and the high crimping wool means it drapes well.
A knitting revival give hope to Wangaratta Woollen Mills in Victoria for future of Australian superfine wool.
Today, the business employs around 100 people both at the Mill in Wangaratta and in the pattern, design and marketing teams in Melbourne. ACS supports over 1000 retailers across Australia and New Zealand with it's range of hand knitting yarns and patterns across the four brands: Cleckheaton, Panda, Patons and Shepherd.
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