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Fashion – Enter Wales: Novelle Yarn Project – British Wool Depot & Meeting with Melin Tregwynt #13


As a continuation of the Novelle Yarn project with SMARTCryum and Potter Group, Eddie Bebb, Commercial Manager at Fashion-Enter Wales attended the British Wool Depot open day where he also met Eifion and Amanda the owners of Melin Tregwynt…

‘On Thursday 26th May I attended the British Wool Depot open day. Depot Manager Barry Bellis gave a very interesting tour explaining the relatively simple process which has one incredibly skilled operation.

‘Large bags of wool (sheets) are delivered from local farms, these are labelled up to ensure traceability. These sheets are individually emptied on to a sorting table where the most important part of the operation is performed.

‘Highly skilled graders who have undertaken a 3-year training programme allocate the fleeces into various categories, they work at an incredible speed and can assess each fleece in under 3 seconds.

‘Fleeces of a similar grade are then packed together to form a 350kg bale of wool. A sample from each bale is taken and sent to the British Wool lab for further testing.

‘Bales are then stored in the warehouse – green for normal wool, purple for organic (which does attract a higher premium). Bales are held in lots of 60 prior to being shipped to the scouring plant in Bradford. – 60 bales is the optimum batch quantity for their machines. 

‘Farmers have to be incredibly patient with regards to payment for their clip. They receive 1 payment at the end of a 12 month season. Monthly price variations are evened out during this period to ensure that everyone is paid the same price.’ 

The next day, 27th May, it was a great pleasure to meet Eifion and Amanda the owners of Melin Tregwynt at the Fashion-Enter factory.

‘The husband and wife team own a weaving mill in Haverfordwest Pembrokshire producing woollen fabrics featuring traditional designs.

‘They had attended the British Wool depot open day on Thursday and took the opportunity to call by and catch up with Jenny and myself to discuss a potential business proposition.

‘Promoting Welsh wool is dear to their hearts and they are keen to engage with a Welsh manufacturer to complete the circle.

‘To this end they have left a couple of pieces with us to produce samples. These are high quality garments which we will endeavour to replicate.

‘Eifion and Amanda feel that our back story (having worked for Laura Ashley and transferred to Fashion-Enter) would be something that would enhance their own company history to provide a unique story behind the product.’

More from this project next week.

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