The fabric journey started when I was working with daughter Emily under our label, Llynfi Textiles. As Cambrian Mountains licencees, we’d dreamed of having our own Cambrian Mountains Tweed and, 2 years ago, took the plunge. We consulted with Raymond Jones at Melin Teifi about yarn count and twist, the fabric design and quantity of yarn required… and the project was underway.

We needed greys as well as natural white. The Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall rose to the challenge of sourcing Llanwenog and Black Welsh Mountain fleece from within the Cambrian Mountains Region, or as near as possible if it was required to look further afield.

To add to the story, NFC found us Llanwenog fleece from a farm in Llanwenog Parish, about 9 miles from Melin Teifi where the fabric would be woven.  Black Welsh Mountain of the right quality and quantity wasn’t available in the Region, so this came from Breconshire and Carmarthenshire – not too far away. The Natural Fibre Co. scoured, carded and blended the fleeces to give shades of grey and then spun it all into the weaving yarn.

Back in Wales, we delivered the yarns to Raymond for weaving. Melin Teifi is the commercial weaver attached to the National Welsh Woollen Museum, just 30 mins away from Cambrian Wool HQ.

It was such an exciting day when the finished bolt of fabric arrived! It exceeded all our expectations. Emily and our intern, Christina, set to work to prove just how versatile such a fabric can be, designing a dress, jacket, skirt and even a little venture into men’s trousers. However… life changes!

Following a successful launch of Cambrian Mountains Tweed womenswear, Emily became full-time mummy to her little daughter. I went on to co-found Cambrian Mountains Wool and the Tweed has a new home, fitting well with the CMW remit. The work done so far with Cambrian Mountains Tweed was not lost.

A second commission has expanded the fabric collection to three patterns, each in a light and dark shade. There’s a neat Herringbone, a small Birdseye, and ‘Pebble’ – a subtle mix in a plainer weave. Even better – they are now available for your own projects! You will find them in our shop very soon, or for more information do get in touch. We can offer discounts for professional designers/makers.

We also have the exact same wool spun into DK knitting yarns. Excellent for mixing and matching, and a superb blend for knitting items such as cushions. See these yarns in our web-shop.

You can find a fascinating history of Llanwenog sheep here:

http://llanwenog-sheep.co.uk/index.php/why-llanwenog/history

And all about Black Welsh Mountain Sheep here:

http://www.blackwelshmountain.org.uk/