History The Natural Fibre Company

We’re frequently asked about the history of our business.

The Natural Fibre Company is a specialist, vertically integrated woollen mill and the only company in the country that spins both wool and worsted yarns under the same roof.

How it all began

Although Myra Mortlock started The Natural Fibre Company in Merthyr Tydfil in 1991, the business was a continuation of one she bought from Rose Elworthy who launched it in the mid-1980s as the Amy Rose Collection. It spun wool on a small scale, largely for smallholders. With her husband Philip, Myra carried on producing natural and un-dyed wool spun in the traditional way, later moving the business to an industrial unit at Lampeter in Mid Wales.

Relocating to Cornwall

When the Mortlocks retired in 2004, Gotland sheep breeder Sue Blacker took the business over. Cornish-born Sue, a one-time stockbroker with involvement in the economic development of the South West and an environmental charity put together a business plan which was approved for European Union Objective 1 funding in the spring of 2005. The company was taken over from the Mortlocks and relocated in a 10,000 sq ft factory at Launceston in Cornwall, close to the Devon border.

Scouring and blending began in 2005 while the first organic run was in 2006. Mohair and alpaca started going through the mill and worsted and semi worsted spinning were later added. In 2008 the company installed a dye plant and launched the online shop which trades today as Blacker Yarns.

The Blacker Swan partnership to bring Falkland Islands wool to the UK started in 2012. The following year a mezzanine floor to expand production and storage was added to the mill and there has been continuous investment in updating and upgrading production and administrative facilities ever since.

Change of Ownership

In December 2019 the Natural Fibre Company and Blacker Yarns were purchased by Westcountry based businessmen, Colin Spencer Halsey and Graham Higgins.

In April 2022 Colin Spencer Halsey become CEO and Sole Owner of the business. Find out more about our work and recent industry awards and accolades since Colin took over here.

Image credit: Made in Britain