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Sorting and Spinning

The sorters have strict standards - around 40% of the weight is discarded to ensure a high quality yarn of which we can be proud.

Working in teams of two, using our hands more than our eyes, we feel our way through each fleece removing any coarse or matted sections. The fine grade fleece is compressed into bales for transportation to the scourers, and then on to Lightowlers, a family firm that have been spinning for four generations. They spin our yarn using traditional mule spinning.

With all the different breeds mixed together, our yarn emerges as a warm, rich, natural grey - the collective colour of the island flock. We’re looking forward to seeing the subtle shifts in colour that each year will bring as individual crofters make adjustments to their flock, and perhaps one day a trained eye will be able to identify the different vintages in a line up of IonaWool garments. To complement the natural grey we have also had the wool dyed into a small selection of colours.