Feltmakers Ireland Wool research project

As you know, Feltmakers Ireland started a wool research project in Spring last year, with funding from the Crafts Council. It was meant to wrapped up by now with a launch and the publication of a book.

The project got delayed by the loss of our studio and various lockdowns last year, but we see this as an opportunity to widen the scope of the project. We only got started looking for wool mid to end of the summer last year, and although we were very successful in sourcing many breeds, some farmers told us we should be asking around shearing time.

For these reasons we have rolled over the project, and are actively looking for more wool breeds to test.

We are also in the position to accept new testers to the project. If you want to participate you will need to be able to devote a couple of hours a week for about a month, maybe two to do flat wet felting, 3D wet felting and/or needle felting. This is a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with different wool types from sheep bred in Ireland. We will supply wool and a test sheet to be filled out. Enquiries to be sent to hello@feltmakersireland.com.

These are the breeds we have been testing so far:

Belclaire
BFL
BFL ram X Scott Mt ewes
Bleu du Maine
Cheviot
Cladoir
Clun Forest
Dorset
Galway
Hampshire Downes
Hebridean
Herdwick
Jacob
Kerry Hill
Romney
Ryeland
Scotch Blackface
Shetland
Shropshire
Suffolk
Texel
Valais Blacknose
Wensleydale
Zwartbles

And new breeds coming soon (we hope):

Roscommon Lamb, Soay, Portland, Vendeen, badgerfaced texel, Ile de France

Dutch Spotted Lamb
Castlemilk Moorit (only 2 flocks in Ireland)
Charolais Ram X Llyn ewe = lambswool shorn early

If you know of any source for wool from other breeds reared in ireland, please get in touch.

Happy felting,