Story of wool from sheep to sale told in new film

Senior wool head grader Ian Brooksbank checks the fleeces at the Wool House, Bradford. Picture by Simon Hulme.
Senior wool head grader Ian Brooksbank checks the fleeces at the Wool House, Bradford. Picture by Simon Hulme.
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A new short film to educate the public about the story of wool, from sheep to laboratory, has been shot with the help of a Yorkshire farmer.

Richard Wilson, a fourth generation sheep farmer, and his team at Crimple Head Farm in Beckwithshaw, near Harrogate are shown shearing sheep as part of a British Wool production entitled ‘The British Wool Story’.

The three-minute film was shot at locations across North Yorkshire, Wales and Bradford, home to British Wool’s headquarters and West Yorkshire depot. It can be viewed on British Wool’s website and on YouTube.

Graham Clark, the firm’s head of marketing, said: “Our unique story shows people the many processes that our sheep farmers and British Wool carry out to enable our fibre to be used in textiles.

“Real people, like Richard, are doing this work every day and our film has captured this remarkable journey to help educate consumers.”

The film also shows on-farm flock management, the fleece collection process and wool grading at a depot where wool from more than 60 pure breeds of sheep - and even more half, cross and rare breeds - are hand sorted by skilled graders.

The wool is then tested in the Wool Testing Authority Europe laboratory to provide data to buyers who purchase the fibre via a computerised auction in Bradford. The auction process sees about 30 million kilograms of wool sold across the world every year to be made into flooring, furnishings and clothing.