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Uradale Farm grows lamb, beef and wool from their native sheep and cattle. In 2001 they converted to Organic Production and were looking at new ways in which they produced products. The challenges that were seen for the future were found by looking into how things were done in the past. Today, Uradale now specialises in only Shetland breeds and their special assets. The next stage for Uradale Yarn was to produce their own Organic Native Shetland Wool.
In 2007 Native Shetland Organic wool was given the title as “Protected Designation of Origin”(PDO). This is a special recognition of Shetland Organic Wool and to get PDO recognition it needs to be produced, processed and prepared in one area and have distinct characteristics from this area. By working with other like-minded friends in ShetlandOrganics CIC in a cooperative way, the knowledge and experience was gained when a lot of it was lost. The yarn that is used comes only from Native Shetland Sheep and comes with Organic certification form the Scottish Organic Producers Association. What Shetlands does is operate an island-wide “Shetland Animal Health Scheme” with veterinary surveillance of all imports and regular blood testing of all stock. Our sheep are bred moorit, grey, black and white. Although most island sheep nowadays are white, the traditional strains were mostly moorit and grey.
At Uradale Organic knitting yarns – They reflect the colours of their flock. The natural fleece colours remain unbleached and undyed through the Organic scouring process. An important thing to note about the yarn is that chemicals are not allowed to dominate the wool. The wool speaks for itself without any artificial enhancements. All ‘non-sheepy’ colours are Organically dyed to reflect the flowers and mosses of Uradale Farm. Occasionally a new range of shades are produced to add to this palette. The Organic spinner supplies jumper weight, double knit, aran and chunky yarns. Uradale are lucky to call upon Alan Barraclough of New Lanark who is a gentleman artisan of the old school. His early experience working with Shetland wool has made it possible to recreate the yarn of yesteryear. His skills help reveal the life in the fibre that is so appreciated by wool lovers.