FROM FLEECE TO FABRIC
Using sustainable local fibres to create bespoke rugs and textiles
My name is Sarah Hilditch and I have recently completed a Foundation Degree in Fashion and Textiles at Bradford College, specialising in weaving.
My love of textiles started at an early age, when I learned to knit and sew from my mother and grandmother. After living for a number of years in Italy, I returned to the UK in 2015 to help on my parents' smallholding, which I inherited on the death of my parents. We farm a small flock of rare breed sheep, so I started to look at the wool market and its possibilities. I was astonished and saddened to find how little farmers were being paid for their fleece.
Given that wool is a 100% natural, ecologically sustainable, intrinsically fire-retardant, warm, hard-wearing and beautiful fibre, I want to show that even the roughest fleece can be used to embellish and brighten the home, while at the same time giving back a decent return to farmers.
My first step was to have approximately 100Kg of the black fleece from our flock of Hebridean ewes (and those from a friend, who also has Hebrideans) away to Huddersfield to be spun. I am hoping to do the same with a batch of white fleece from our Border Leicester and Border Leicester cross sheep.