Colonsay Wool Growers at Balnahard Farm
Colonsay Wool Growers

Borne & shorne at Balnahard Farm

Colonsay Wool Growers is a yarn brand with real provenance at its heart.

As well as producing lovely fleeces, our sheep busy themselves with conservation grazing. The sand-dune area of Balnahard Bay is an important Scottish wildflower site and keeping the weeds to a minimum so the plants of the machair can flourish is part of their job.

 

This area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area for birds, including being a feeding site for the rare chough bird, which feed on the grubs found under sheep and cow pats.

Colonsay Wool Growers Circular

From fleece to yarn – one pot at a time

Colonsay Wool Growers

Fleece to yarn

Our raw fleeces go from Balnahard to England where they are processed into yarn. The yarn comes back unwashed and on cones. The processing is finished by hand on the farm, hanking and washing the yarn, and then dyeing it with plants foraged from the surrounding farmland.

Colonsay Wool Growers Dye Pot

Natural plant dyes

The process of dyeing with plants can be a rather ‘woolly’ science, taking days or even weeks to get the desired depth of colour from the plantstuff. The colour produced can vary from batch to batch depending on the age of the plant, the seasons, and even the weather on the day of harvesting all having an effect on the end shade.

Colonsay Wool Growers Small Batch Yarn

Small batch yarns

When added to the undyed shades of our cream, grey and brown yarns the final natural dyed yarn colours are a true reflection of the rugged Colonsay landscape. From rocky outcrops, sulphur yellow lichen, stony beaches and the green and brown of the bracken covered hills, our yarns convey a real sense of place.