We make some of our recycled wool blankets using offcuts from the factory floor – but how do we actually do that? Our blankets are made at mills which spin and weave luxurious and long-lasting blankets made from wool. It's the by-product from this process we use to make our blankets. Here's how it works.
Bales of offcuts ready to be shredded
Offcuts from production, which may be yarn from the spinning stage or fabric from the weaving stage, for instance, are shredded in an industrial shredding machine into many small fibres of consistent size and shape. Then, the carding machine cleans and makes parallel all of the fibres in preparation for spinning into yarn.
Because a strong yarn needs long fibres bound together, our recycled yarn is spun with with a small amount of polyester so that the short recycled fibres have something to grab on to.
Karina inspecting the spinning machine at the mill
The yarn is then spun onto spools, before it is used to weave blankets on large, industrial machine looms.
Spools of yarn ready to be woven into blankets at the mill
The looms are operated by highly skilled weavers who know how to perfect the tension (so that the final blanket is not "tighter" in some places than others) to create an even surface. To introduce colour, blankets are either dyed after they are woven, or beforehand as hanks of yarn from the spools.
Yarn on the loom getting woven into blankets
After the recycled blankets are woven they are finished at the mill with labels and stitching or fringing, and sent to our warehouse for distribution.
Voilà! A an extremely cosy and warm blanket that, if cared for, can last a lifetime.
And it doesn't end there! When you are finished with your blanket, you can return it to us free of charge and we can re-manufacture it by adding it to the ragging machine with the other offcuts to be spun into new yarn and woven into new blankets. That's what we mean by 'closed loop', where the same resources are cycled through the same process to offer a useful product with little to no waste, and of equal or higher value.
For a step-by-step breakdown and video of the recycling process, see here.