Our wool fabric is handwoven from sheep and alpaca raised on small Ontario farms.
Each breed has it’s own qualities. The length of the fibre, the luster, the softness on the skin, the bounce or memory and colour vary with each breed.
We use a variety of breeds, dependent on the quality and characteristics required for our end use. Fine fibre next to the skin, utility fibre for felting…
Few people are actually allergic to wool. Chemically the same as your hair, it is usually an allergy to processing chemicals, lanoline or stiff fibre ends which can irritate skin.
‘Most fibres below 30 microns, such as those produced by Merinos, Rambouillets or other fine wool sheep, don’t scratch…..almost anyone can find wools to wear comfortably.’ Carol Ikarius, The Field Guide to Fleece, 2013
All the colours of our fabric are the natural colours of the fleece with small batches of complimentary colours from natural dye stuffs coming on line. There are no commercial dyes involved in their making. Because we don’t use chemicals to burn off vegetation from the fibre, you may find tiny particles of plants woven into the textile. These can be gently worked out with your fingers.
We use the fleece from a variety of farms to meet our many different uses. Each garment has a provenance listing the type of fleece used as well as where it originated.
The Coat Yardage is made out of wool from the Norbouilett Sheep from Pine Hollow Farms.
Soft and silky in quality it belies the belief that many hold about wool.
The Coat Yardage is woven as a twill in two colour ranges, light and dark, using grey and natural whites in different proportions. All colours are the natural colours of the fleece, no dyes are used.
The Coat Yardage is used to make the Wondercoat, Car Coat, ‘Raincoat’ and Hoods. It will also be used for the Pullover Anoraks and other Outer Wear.
The Tweed Herringbone is made from the fleece of Norbouilett Sheep raised at Pine Hollow Farms.
Soft and drapey.
The colours are the natural colours of the fleece, not using any dyes. Presently in a black, brown and grey mix.
The Tweed Herringbone is used in tunics, pants, skirts, dresses and jackets.
The first McKellar Tartan Throws are 100% Alpaca from our local Bear Den Alpaca Farm and Kickn’ Back Alpaca Ranch, spun at Grand Valley Mill and hand woven by Upper Canada Weaving. We chose the alpaca, as we were able to get the colours we wanted from the fleece. No dyes used at all. Incredibly luxurious! Soft, warm, light weight, strong, hypo allergenic.
The stuffed animals are made from the “scraps” of all other yardage that we use.
The rag dolls have their own yardage woven from the fleece from Topsy Farm and Kickn’ Back Alpaca Ranch spun at Wellington Fibre Mill and hand woven by Upper Canada Weaving.
All Snippets are stuffed with 100% Dorset fleece from Grant’s Farm near Dunchurch.
100% wool, exclusive of trim. Face detail 100% cotton embroidery thread. Clothes 100% linen, 100% wool scraps or 100% cotton.
Linen, is a fine, strong, long wearing fibre from the flax plant. Versatile, it is used from the finest of garments to sturdy rope. It wicks moisture away from the body, keeping us cool and comfortable and is not damaged by sun, making it well suited for garments. Stiff at first, it only gets softer and more luscious with use. Environmentally, it uses less water and no chemicals are required for it to grow in contrast to the requirements of cotton.
It can be grown in northern climates with Ontario having 100 linen processing plants in the 1800’s, the government even supplying equipment to support the industry. Being a labour intensive operation, it was dropped in favour of cheaper, automated cotton from the south.
Heavy “Work” Linen. We are using a strong, heavy, plain weave yardage for our workwear. It is meant to be worked in and protect the wearer. Strong, breathable and long wearing. Stiff to begin with, it becomes quite soft, growing more comfortable with us. It is preshrunk and undyed.
Mid-weight Twill Linen. Lighter weight and a softer drape due to the twill weave. With the look of homespun, this undyed linen has more texture than the plain weaves. Preshrunk.
Light-weight Plain Weave Linen. This is the lightest we are using at this time. Also undyed, and preshrunk, this will soften and become your favourite summer wear. We use it in shirts, dresses, bug suits and next to the skin garments.
Due to its wonderful qualities, and the ability to grow in our own fibreshed, linen is making a comeback. We are planting our first crop, in the company of many others trying to redevelop the Canadian linen industry. Retooling is required to produce equipment for a process decidedly different than that required for wool. In the meantime, we are presently using European linen to compliment the wool, and develop our line, preparing for our future first Ontario linen yarns and fabrics.