Our magnificent native seaweed-eating sheep have their favourite food washed up fresh twice-a-day. They are living a completely natural life in a beautiful place. This high quality of life results in the purest wool yarn, free from chemicals, free from stress, and completely sustainable.
Auskerry has two flocks of sheep each instinctively belonging, or ‘hefted’ to one half of the island. Sheep naturally graze the same territory every day and each half of the island provides a flock with all the food they can eat.
Seaweed washes up on the high tide-line on stormy winter days, whilst on summer days the ewes wander out onto the rocks to find the new growth of living weed from the many different varieties of seaweed that they love to eat. Whilst out on the rocks, the lambs keep close to their mother’s side learning how to avoid the waves, jump over the rock-pools, find shelter from the wind and to leave the beach when the tide is coming back in.
We gather the sheep on this rising tide as the ewes know that the sea will cut them off if they try to escape over the rocks.
Shearing the sheep
We shear each adult sheep with hand shears in the fields, so that they are not stressed by the noise of engines and mechanical sheep-clippers in sheds. The adult sheep sit between our feet, as we clip them by hand, and they are so relaxed by this gentle activity that we have time to check on their feet and teeth whilst enjoying the colours and quality of their fleeces which varies with every individual.
The wool is then sorted and shipped to New Lanark Mill for spinning before being returned to us to dye and label and deliver to our customers. Some of our wool goes to Knockando Mill in Speyside to be hand woven into blankets.
Our timeless wool products are made with traditional craftsmanship and attention to detail so that our customers continue to love their warmth and classic beauty for many years.