I've been undergoing much research into the best types of british wool, the processing journey and costs over the past few years.
Our sheep were shorn by my husband and brother on May bank holiday, fleeces sorted and rolled by me and my father-in-law. I picked out the best ones to take forward to use for yarn, so along with a few from last year (some of which are from other Welsh farms too), I now have enough wool to send to be commercially spun. My only problem is the processing costs, which is upwards of £1500.
I've decided I will wash the fleeces myself, and remove any vegetable matter; but if I can card and blend it myself too, then this would keep the overall cost down (to approximately £800) as I would then only need the mill to spin the wool into yarn for me.
Not only would it reduce the cost of this annual labour intensive process but it would also mean I own the carder, so it would keep the cost down every year. It would also allow me process small batches of fleece myself ready for felting or spinning, and also teach others, do demonstrations, etc.
It would enable more of my ideas come to life and expand my products, whilst keeping to a zero waste ethic, low CO2/environmental impact (using hand powered equipment instead of electrical), and help me promote Welsh and British wool even more.