Woolganic was created by Mel McMillan after a fruitless search for an Australian organic wool yarn with which to knit for her children. Mel decided to create her own and in 2007 the first WOOLganic knitting yarn was spun. Mel passed on the business in 2013 to hand dyer, fibre addict and knitter Susannah Williams.
WOOLganic knitters yarns are spun in New Zealand from certified organic or biodynamic Australian merino fleece wool and are processed in accordance with organic standards. They are dyed with low impact metal free dyes.
WOOLganic yarns are made from 21.5 micron merino fleece wool making them soft enough to be worn directly against the skin with out scratching. Our yarns have a slightly increased twist to reduce pilling.
Isn’t Wool a Natural Organic Fibre Anyway?
Yes, but what they do to it before it gets to you is totally unnatural.
We think of wool as a natural fibre because it is not man made, but large scale commercial grazing has relied on synthetic chemical inputs to increase profitability and to allow wool growing in regions and climates to which it is unsuited.
How Do I Know It Is Really Organic?
WOOLganic yarns are spun from certified organic or biodynamic Australian merino wool which has been certified by the Bio-Dynamic Research Institute. Our wool is scoured in a plant that is registered under Environmental Choice.
On The Farm
WOOLganic yarns are spun from certified organic or biodynamic Australian Merino fleece wool. No synthetic inputs are used on the livestock – no dips, drenches, back lining or antibiotics. If an animal is unwell it must be removed from the herd and treated appropriately.
Sustainable farming practices with a low impact on the environment are used. These include clean pasture management, attention to soil health, environmentally sound stock ratios, good nutrition, and herbal and homeopathic treatments.
Each grazing property must be audited and assessed to establish the best management practices for the region, and a stock rate that will have the least impact on the environment is calculated.
At Australian Organic Wool we only use certified organic wool fleece or certified biodynamic wool fleece for our yarns.
Processing Organic Wool
WOOLganic organic wool yarns are cleaned or scoured using only hot water and detergent. The wool is carded and combed on machinery that has been cleaned of conventionally grown fibres before the organic wool is processed.
In conventional wool processing a cocktail of chemicals are used to scour and carbonise the wool.
Last century saw the development of technologies to make wool unshrinkable, moth proof and softer. All these technologies relied on chemical treatments and while they made wool more convenient, the impact to the environment and human health was not fully taken into account.
Our organic wool is naturally soft because we select fine micron Australian Merino fleece. It is not subject to coarsening chemical treatments.
Spinning Organic Wool
WOOLganic organic wool yarns are spun on machinery that is flushed before spinning to be sure there is no fibre contamination from non-organic yarn. There are no synthetic lubricants used on the machinery.
Dyeing Organic Wool
WOOLganic organic wool yarns are dyed with the best available ecologically low impact acid dyes. They are metal free. We hope to be able to introduce organic dyes as soon as the technology is available for commercial quantity dyeing.