Sunday, 8 January 2012


... to live here in New Zealand, a country with the wool lots of  felters dream of, but  in fact it is not an easy country for felters. One would think, we have all this wonderful wool avaible, well that is not true at all. Most of the wool is sent overseas and will be processed and sold there. We are here more or less dependend on Ashford and some smaller carders, whos quality is not the best. We have a minimal colour range available but one can dye oneself of course. Not to mention that we pay a lot more for the wool than we would pay for example in Germany. I made a calculation the other day and I buy the cheaper polwarth wool, which costs me undyed 32 Euros a kg, when I look at the cataloge of Wollknoll I can buy there New Zealand wool from 10 - 15 Euro the kg, that is really bizarre........
Even more important is, we cannot really sell our products. The locals don't buy much, New Zealand is a low wage country and everybody struggles, so we are dependend on the tourists and their numbers have declined. A lot of the art/craft shops had to close. There are some markets around, especially when a cruise ship arrives, but they are strongly controlled and it is very hard to get in. The prices we can ask cover hardly more than the material price, so one wonders how to carry on.
I am very passionate about fibre and I love doing things, but there is a limit of things I can afford to make without selling and where should I store all that? Its the same for a lot of friends, which do wonderful work. I need to try harder to sell online, but who is ordering from New Zealand when there is so much already available in Europe and the USA.
Well I am carrying on working for the big wallhanging. It was very fortunate to get this. What comes after? Well we will see....


  1. Your post is really interesting. I thought, that when you live in a country where is source of great wool fibres it should be easy to buy cheap and woderfull wool. In Opoland we have also Polish wool, but more thick (abt. 28 microns)and less delicate than Australian or New Zealand. Therefore I buy Australian and New Zealan merino wool in Germany and Italy.

  2. A friend of mine has own sheep and she uses only their wool. The wool is a bit coarser but not much, because her crossbred sheep are part polwarth and the wool felts very well. But carding costs too even she washes the wool herself. I still have a bit gotland wool left from my daughters sheep and I use it too, but it is not as soft as Merino.
    Our population is only 4.2 Mio People and that is possibly the reason why not much is processed here. All our best products go overseas, it is now very hard to get the so-called possumyarn, because it was also bought by the Chinese. Possums are lovely animals but not native and they are a true pest for the country which destroy the forest, so they get hunted for. They have wonderful soft fur and it was developed here in New Zealand to blend the fur with Merino wool. And now we cannot get it anymore for a reasonable price. We are a dairy country but the prices for dairy products like milk, butter, cheese are horrendous.