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What is the first thing you think of when you image a woollen jumper?
Or a pair of woollen mittens?
Can you see grandma in a rocking chair in front of an open fire, knitting away, a cat playing with the ball of wool on the rug? Did you ever get a scratchy woollen beanie for winter?
OR can you see young people who have hopped on the knitting craft train, furiously knitting one and pearling two between stations on their express line?
While there will always be a romantic view of homely spun and knitted garments, the wool industry has come a long way. It is modern and sophisticated, and the fashion produced with this renewable material reflects these leaps in technology.
Take a look through our catalogue to see how smart and sophisticated our fashion range is. The Merino Crew for men, or the crew neck pullover, show a level of fashion design far beyond the craft knitting.
And for the ladies, a range of fashionable and bright coloured hoodies, or a wide variety of scarves to set off any outfits, reflects how strong the woollen industry is, on the frontline of modern fashion.
There are two main production methods of wool- the Woollen System and the Worsted System. Our Merino wool is produced with the Worsted System, so we will focus on that.
The wool for this method of production is sheared from the backs and sides of our Merino sheep. These are the longest and strongest fibres available. This is the wool which Williams is famous for.
This wool from the sheep’s back is softer and shinier, used for suits and undergarments, some sportswear and other high-class fashion items. It is the wool you see on catwalks around the world and it is the same durable material you’re wearing when you shop from our online store.
Once the wool has been collected and cleaned of contaminants, such as grass seeds or dirt, it is then spun on what is called a mule. The wool is drawn out to lengths of one and a half meters and then twisted to increase fibre strength. Tension is applied and the wool is stretched a little bit further and more twist is added. This process is repeated until the bobbin is full.
This yarn, as it is now called, is then wound onto a winding machine which detects faults and split ends in the fibres. These faults are spliced together and joined, to maintain a lengthy, soft and strong fibre.
Of course all wool garments are knitted. What we sell in our store is knitted on industrial knitting machines called Flat-Bed or V-Bed knitting machines. These machines are adjustable for styles and patterns and can produce top quality, fine garments with efficiency and consistency.
Technology is always moving forwards. While there are some traditions, still, in our industry, there is always that human need to innovate, improve and produce better quality clothing in more efficient ways.
We’ll never truly supersede Nanna and her home knitted scarves. Getting one of those for your birthday is always special.
But we will always deliver to you the finest woollen garments, top quality and long lasting, which will look on point and chic for many seasons to come.