The wool of the Merina Preta breed, an indigenous Portuguese breed, is a wool with a more rustic profile than the wool of other merino breeds created for the production of specifically thinner wool, while being soft and elastic. It is therefore less thin, but more resilient, and the natural colors are absolutely exceptional. They lend themselves to a wide range of uses, from clothing that can be worn close to the skin to pieces that require a little more resistance. In felting it has an excellent reduction ability.
Merino sheep with pigmented wool, like our Black Merinos, are rare animals that exhibit beautiful natural colors that we can take advantage of. The industry has a preference for white animals, so the lack of commercial interest in pigmented wool dictated the decline in the breeding of these animals and the fall in their value as well. Fortunately, we love pigmented wool and take advantage of its natural shades and variations!
ABOUT OUR SHEARING
Our shearings are always performed by Martin O'Connel, a professional shearer with whom we have worked since 2015. In shearing, it is not enough for the fleece to be removed completely and without second cuts, but also for the animals to be treated with the dignity they deserve. The animals are clipped on a wooden platform to avoid contamination in the wool and the fleece is immediately placed on the skirting table, where we remove the dirty parts, select and separate the wool into 3 groups.
ABOUT MONTE DOS CEDROS
Monte dos Cedros belongs to Carlos and Marta, two young producers who recently started to breed Merina Preta ewes under extensive and ecological grazing, which means that the sheep graze freely throughout the year.
These animals are registered in a genealogical book, thus contributing to safeguard the genetic heritage they represent.
The herd had wool of excellent quality, which undoubtedly reflects the producers' dedication to these animals. As we say: happy sheep give the best wool and those from Monte dos Cedros are happy!
They are definitely producers whose values are aligned with ours and we are happy to be able to support their work.
ABOUT OUR WOOL SELECTION
Our wool selection is always carried out at the time of shearing by Alice Bernardo. The selection has in mind fans of textile fibers and small producers who value receiving absolutely flawless wool. Basically, people like us who, when they receive a woolen bag at home, want to be amazed by the smell of lanolin, with elastic, resistant, crimpy wool. Wool that makes us want to get to work.
Our aim is to show the best of Portuguese Wool.
With this type of people in mind, and according to our experience here in the studio, we generally separate wool into three groups:
- Whole wool fleece for spinning: you can consider this the best wool of the flock: the top of the top!
The fleece is whole and the wool is of excellent quality in the whole piece. Obviously, this wool can be used for other purposes. With this classification we just want to say that this wool is so, so good that it well deserves your investment of time.
-Whole fleece for felting: here we select fleeces that have wool not as fine as the previous one (yet excellent!), but the whole fleece is beautiful and, therefore, is interesting for those who like to felt whole fleeces and make unique pieces. This wool continues to have quality to be carded and felted with excellent results.
- Wool by kilo: here we select only the best part of the fleece of less uniform quality, but which had very good parts. Optimal wool for all types of purposes: spinning, felting, etc. Less fine wool than whole fleece for spinning, but great!
WHY WE COMMERCIALIZE RAW WOOL
Saber Fazer's commercialization of raw wool has two main objectives:
#1: Value the wool from the origin: the producer. Wool is bought by us above market value, valuing not only a quality raw material, but also producers who dedicate themselves to their animals and take into account the production of Wool.
Despite the way we proceed is not yet the standard in Portugal, we want to set an example.
Shearing is also carried out by our shearer and the selection is carried out at the moment, which implies our trip to the flock site. With this we also intend that producers see how we do it and start to have experience and knowledge about this area of Wool.
# 2: Bringing people who appreciate Wool as much as we do an absolutely excellent product! Wool well selected by someone who spins and makes textiles their life, impeccably shorn by a professional shearer, skirted and stored to preserve its quality.
The term most used to describe the wool selected by us is "delicious" and it usually causes some sighing! If we could, we would keep everything here in the studio, but we like to share the pleasure in wool and show the best of Portuguese wool.