Where does wool come from?
Wool may just be the oldest fiber known to humans and it also doesn't require killing the animal in order to harvest it.
The word "wool" refers to protien fibers from sheep, Angora or Cashmere goats, camel, alpaca, llama, and vicuna.
All of the wools used in the heirloom shawls you see here is from domestic sheep and coming to you direct from the farmers' hands.
The sheep are farm-raised and after the age of 2 are shorn once per summer, when it's sunny and warm.
Shearing sheep isn't painful, it's like a haircut and the sheep may fidget a bit, but they dance around when they're finished - very happy to be free of the hot, heavy fleece.
Do you want to know more about sheep?
Sheep were among the first animals domesticated and ancient statuary suggests this from about 6,000 years ago and books from 3000 B.C. depicted sheep and them also being shorn for their wool.
We've estimated there are about 200 distinct breeds of sheep worldwide, some are cross-bred for more desirable fleece harvesting.
The most common sheep in the US is the mostly white sheep and in Britain, Ireland and Scottland it's the blackface sheep
The male sheep is a "ram" and the female is called a "ewe" - while baby sheep are called "lambs" and they live about 10-20 years.
This is Gunny McDermott, a very young Irish Blackface ram.
Why wool and not plant fiber?
Plant fibers, such as silk, cotton, bamboo and soy also have their place in garment-making and can create stunning shawls as well.
Wool has been chosen for our shawls since they accept dyes more easily, holds in more body heat, does not attract dirt or static electricity, making them perfect for cool weather.
Wool is also flame-retardant, water resistant and also has a natural resistance to wrinkles.
We refuse to use any wool inhumanely harvested, so most of our wools come from Canada and the United States, where the wool industry is regulated and the animals are protected by laws.