The Canadian Wool Virtual Coffee House

4 January 2023

Sponsored in part by:

Ad description: Cover of the book Sheep, Shepherd & Land, and the words, "THE book about Canadian Wool, by Anna Hunter. Photos by Christel Lanthier. Buy now."

Ad description: The words, "The socks you knit won't last forever, but you can make them last for years and years. Shop now." Also featuring the cover image of the Sock Mending Guide.

The Canadian Wool Virtual Coffee House is a monthly discussion and advocacy group, run by volunteers, that provides an interactive complement to the Canadian Wool website.

Canadianwool.org, founded by Anna Hunter of Long Way Homestead Farm and Mill in Manitoba, is a resource to help connect farmers who have sheep with consumers who want to find locally raised wool. A visit to the website reveals Annas research, which showed that one of the key barriers farmers face is how to market and sell their wool. 

There is also great information for consumers at the site, with a list of sources for non-yarn wool products.

Anna envisioned the Virtual Coffee House as a way to engage dialogue between members of the public and those within the industry. The chats are open, inclusive, and informative. Each month features a short presentation by someone from the industry (farmer, mill owner, wool broker, etc.), with the remainder of the time focused on talking and strategizing on how to build a grassroots movement of momentum and support for the Canadian wool industry.  For example, in the fall of 2022, a postcard campaign was launched to promote the viability of Canadian wool in the agricultural sector, and over 3000 postcards have been distributed to provincial and federal agriculture ministers. The group is now working to develop a Canadian Wool” certification for those growing and producing Canadian wool products.

If you’re interested in the wool economy in Canada, you can participate in the next Virtual Coffee House by submitting a request through the website.

Copyright © Barbara Williams except as indicated.

About Barbara Williams

Barbara (Bobbie) Williams was introduced to the world of weaving in 1985 by a wonderful spinning-weaving duo in North Carolina. That exposure launched her down the rabbit hole of fibre cræft*. She now spins, weaves, felts, knits, dyes and has even tried her hand at hide tanning. Over the years her interests have grown to include the breadth of textile creation, from the sustainable sourcing and processing of the animal and plant fibres to the final product and beyond. Luckily, she shares a home with another patient fibre person, so the chaos in the house is tolerated and even embraced! *Cræft = Old English word for the making and being of knowledge

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