Carding Wool at Värtsilän Villa ja Värjäämö

The wool Karoliina uses in her work is quite special. Originally it was just called Finnwool from Finnsheep. Probably one of the best felting wools in existence, smooth, soft, and felts quickly and very firmly.

For a number of years now, the word “Finnwool” has become a registered trade mark by the main commercial mill in Finland. The trademark actually describes wool from the Finnish generic summer woolclip, made up of all the different breeds of sheep that grow in Finland. A large percentage of these sheep are meat breeds such as Texel and Oxford/South Down sheep. (the wool from these sheep does not felt!) Like “Norwegian C1 ®”, the Norwegian generic woolclip, it is a mixture of wool from any breed of sheep and the felting quality can very immensely.

Unfortunately, nowadays, “Finnwool ®” is the only commercially easily available Finnish wool, and already many years ago, some Finnish processors were importing wool blends from England to ensure some kind of consistency of quality. Still “Finnwool ®” of course…

As the availability of pure Finnsheep wool decreased, we began to collect raw wool ourselves, from local farms, and take it to a carding mill down on one of the Estonian islands to process it. This was a very time consuming but enjoyable experience.
But by 2003 we had set up our own carding machine and have been self-sufficient ever since. We are the only producer of genuine organic Finnwool in Finland.

The sheep are certified organic or bio-dynamically raised, so no chemicals are used on the sheep such as dips and sprays, and their food and pastures are controlled.
The sheep are all registered Kainuunharmas, an original Finnish Landrace sheep, currently classed as a rare breed, there are now perhaps 1800 breeding ewes in existence. (in 2001 there were only 200 individuals left.) We are happy to have been able to play a part in their rescue.

We personally collect the wool, sort, wash and dye it by hand using OEKO-TEX Standard 100 compliant, wool specific, reactive dyes.
We card the wool ourselves on our ancient carding machine. (Manufactured by C.E. Schwalbe in Werdau, Germany, over 100 years ago) using water soluble Rapeseed Oil as an anti-static additive.

This process allows us to control every step of the production from the growing animal to the carded wool.

We take great pride and care to produce a 100% responsible and ethical wool product.

We always bring a selection of our wool with us to the workshops for anyone who would like to use it.

The average materials costs used during a full workshop varies between 50 – 120USD, depending on size of project.

Finnsheep are exceptional mothers…