The Natural Fibre Company is always looking to buy high-quality fibre from rare and specialist breeds like the Boreray pictured here. It could be used in a pure form or blended to make products for Blacker Yarns, so it may be possible for you to sell fibre to us.
We are particularly interested in rare, fine and coloured fibre and in the first instance request samples to be sent to us for assessment. We are happy both to assess samples sent to us and to discuss prices with no commitment on either side. All fleece we agree to take is sorted and graded and the value per kilogram calculated on the net amount accepted. We also pay inward carriage for purchased fleece where necessary.
Some of the specialist yarns we produce have been so successful that there is now a shortage of fleece from certain sheep breeds, among them pedigree Shetland, Teeswater, Wensleydale and other fine and medium lustre longwool breeds, and Blue-faced Leicester.
If you sell to us, please note we pay only for what we keep, not what we reject. This is because we have to dispose of it, which is an added cost. Once we have approved samples, we can arrange for sacks of fleece to be collected, and as an incentive we also pay incoming carriage, though of course it's great if you can deliver. Usually, if you are able to deliver, you can get a better price. As your fleeces will normally be shorn and sent to us during the summer and autumn, which are our busiest times for spinning, we cannot always sort and grade the fibre quickly and you should expect to receive a report on the results and payment within 6-12 months. We are sorry we cannot work more quickly, but spinning to earn money has to take preference over additional sorting.
Generally we pay a premium for quality and rarity, but can only buy fibre that has been totally free of pesticides for at least four months before shearing.
Some sheep breeds do not produce wool of sufficiently high quality to be used by Blacker Yarns, but we are keen to develop more opportunities for coarser fibres and are happy to discuss ideas. Blacker Yarns’ seasonal string and garden twine, pictured right, made from Devon & Cornwall Longwool sheep, is an example of what can be done.
To help you decide whether or not your fibre is suitable, download our file on Sheep shearing and maintaining the quality of fleece. Most of the British clip is by law purchased by British Wool, but the relatively small quantities we buy are of little interest to them and many breeds that interest us are covered by exemptions due to rarity.
For those who deal with the Wool Board, but also want to sell to us, a letter has been agreed with them that covers the legal aspects.