The Future Of Australian Wool Could Be Saved By Non-Mulesing Practices
Australian superfine wool is something no longer produced on a wide scale in Australia, and that is quite a shame.
Concern for animal welfare may pose even further obstacles in the path of those who want to keep the passion for local wool going. The Wangaratta Woollen Mills is a wool processing factory located in Victoria. It is the place where an experiment takes place.
Mulesing is a practice used in Australia for combating flystrike. It consists of removal of wool bearing skin from the breech (buttocks) of lambs. This is done in order to prevent myasis, as flystrike is also known as.
The practice has often been targeted by animal rights organization for all the right reasons. Now, the people at the Wangaratta Woollen Mills, a 90 year old company, want to do things differently.
Others involved in the process of promoting non-mulesed lamb wool say that it is important that yarn users know animal rights are cared for.
“That’s a very important pathway for us, because knowledgeable knitters are very concerned about provenance, but they’re also concerned about animal welfare and it meant we could sidestep that whole issue,” says Brenda McGahan, from Australian Country Spinners.
Woolgrowers need to invest more time and resources in order to maintain their herds free of flystrike. However, they do it without using the controversial technique. This means that they need any support they can get.
The Victoria factory is currently the last to be processing Australian superfine wool. That is quite a shame, since more than two thirds of the wool produced in Australian is now processed in China.
The Australian Country Spinners offered a new lease for the Wangaratta Woollen Mills. This meant that the personnel was brought back to work.
The staff, many with over 40 years of experience in wool processing, are delighted to come back to what they know how to do best.
A fashion designer, Anne Morgan, is also involved in the process. She creates special patterns made with the fine wool made at the Wangaratta Woollen Mills.
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