All Quiet on the Woolen Front

I have called and called and called some more.  I might try one more round of calls during Lila’s naptime, but I feel I have exhausted all options for sourcing 100% Australian grown and produced (preferably organic) wool fabric for coats.  I can’t seem to get ahold of weavers, I have inquiries in at a number of guilds, but no information, no crazy ladies with pet merinos.

My FIL has some sheep, I asked him about other organic growers and he told me something interesting.  The orchards and vegetable gardens on their farm are organic, but he has to “dip” or “drench” the sheep to keep them tick and parasite free.  Otherwise they would die, because sheep bred for hundreds (thousands?) of years in Europe can not resist the diseases the ticks and parasites here carry.  Some are resistant, but most are not. He said that the only true organic wool comes from running sheep out west where they have no ticks or parasites because it is so dry.


He also warned me that his sheep were an old Welsh breed, for “folding,” and told me that no one bothered sheep much for their fleeces until Spanish Merinos.

I received the swatch of 100% Australian merino melton woven in the USA.  It’s not that special.  Nice, but not $70 nice.


Charles’ Parsons seem like a good option, they have Australian grown, ethically made in China flannel.  A trifle scratchy, but for a coat I think that would not matter.  It might even prove to be a virtue.  I might order their flannel for Husband’s Coat, Burda 2767 View A.

For mine?  I’m much less set on ideas for my own coat.  I like Lady Grey by Colette.

Oh me, oh my, look what I found on Past Patterns the other night.

Asymmetry!  Big collar!  Secure front fastening!  Too long, I would shorten it to mid-thigh at the longest.  It is a 36″ bust, that tells me I will have to do a narrow back, full bust and probably play with the waist and biceps.  And I’d change the length.  I would need to change very little about Lady Grey.

And finally, a tip on PR told me that Elliot Berman Textiles are celebrating their birthday with 50% off.  Look at this pretty wool cashmere at a sensible price. Don’t buy it all before I’ve made up my mind!

Wouldn’t the gentle sage plaid with its soft drape and glow look marvelous as a 1930’s short coat?

I’m not too worried that I sold out on my ideals.  I tried.  Also, I suspect that when it comes to sustainable fibres, wool is the least of my ethical worries.  Cotton and silk will be next in my cross-hairs.


  1. Hi, I read somewhere once that most of the good quality merino wool is sold overseas to high end designers, not sold locally. I think there is a mill in Victoria that makes wool, but I think they need a minimum order of 10m. However I'm not sure if it is merino, and I doubt if it's organic.

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