another great fiber project
Mendocino Wool & Fiber (MW&F) is a new wool mill in Northern California to create 100% locally sourced, processed and dyed yarn. It is family founded and owned by Matt (that's me) and Sarah Gilbert. I have worked with sheep, sheep herders and wool processors in Mendocino County as a sheep shearer since the age of 12.
Why a Mill?
I've noticed some problems during my work as a sheep shearer and created MW&F to solve them. Today:
- Lack of a local mill makes fiber production too costly. Many producers give or throw wool away rather than process it. Julie Rosenfeld, owner of Renaissance Ridge Alpacas, said it best: “That is the problem, the mill. There are no local mills that produce a good enough product, consistency wise. I have had to send fiber off to Virginia to get it milled which is why I have not had any more made, the cost makes it prohibitive."
- Fiber creators and sellers wait six to 12 months to get processed wool back from other regions and states. This hurts small business people and our local economy.
- It's sound business: there is an immediate need and built-in market demand for a full service wool mill in Northern California.
- The success of eco-fashion is hampered by the lack of sustainable, domestic facilities with just labor practices.
- Natural fibers are healthy for people and our planet. They are not made with fossil fuels or chemicals, and washing them does not add microscopic bits of plastic to our oceans.