Wild Earth Yarns offers you the finest fibres crafted with passion and pride from fleece grown in the wild natural landscapes of New Zealand.
You’ll find our range of natural woollen and blended fibres, lovingly crafted from carefully selected fleeces to create beautiful, practical and affordable yarns on this website. Many of our yarns are limited editions made exclusively for our customers.
Wild Earth Yarns is the leading manufacturer of hand knitting yarn in New Zealand’s South Island. You can rely on us to produce high quality yarn from super-fine Merino wool, strong wool, alpaca, mohair, angora and possum.
You benefit from our superior knowledge and experience in the textile industry, with over 60 years hands-on experience working with wool and other natural fibres. We’ll turn your fleece into beautiful yarn for your own use as a textile for fashion, knitting, weaving, upholstery and carpets.
We Love Wool
We love wool with all its amazing properties. Not only is it natural, renewable, biodegradable, non-allergenic and breathable – if that wasn’t enough – it’s durable, flame retardant and sun safe. We love it and you will too!
IN STORE TODAY
Take a look at our exclusive ranges of knitting yarn, crafted from the finest fibres. Many of our yarns are limited editions created especially in response to requests from our customers. These short-run editions of limited quantities often sell out very quickly. To avoid disappointment we recommend you join our mailing list to receive newsletters and special offers by email
WE PRODUCE NATURAL FIBRE YARNS
We produce natural fibre yarns ideal for large and small-scale clothing producers to dye to their own specifications and colours. Yarns are supplied in hanks for dying. The process of converting fleece to fibre takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks. These are the steps in the process.
The fleece is placed in the blending machine where the fibre is opened up, and a water-soluble lubricant is added to reduce static and dust. From there the fibre is loaded into the carding machines which have a series of rollers with opposing teeth that force open the fibre.
There are two lines of carding machines. The first is for worsted and semi-worsted yarn fibres which produces a long sliver of yarn with aligned, parallel fibres. The second carding line produces woollen spun yarn which mixes the fibre, before they are sent for spinning.
From the carding machines the worsted and semi-worsted fibre goes to be gilled. The gilling process has three steps. The first gilling machine removes the natural hooks in the wool, while the second evens out the weight in each sliver. The final gilling machine sets the weight for spinning.
The semi-worsted fibre is now ready for spinning, while the worsted (which is the most highly processed yarn) goes through another stage called combing. Combing removes the short fibre content and vegetable matter from the wool to create a smooth sleek yarn. Worsted fibre then undergoes two further gills.
Now all the fibres (worsted, semi-worsted, fine and course woollen spun yarn) are ready for spinning. This stretches the fibre, adding a twist to give it strength. The last stage in the processing is twisting where individual yarns are combined to create greater strength and better presentation. We have a double-sided ring twister and can twist to any specification.
Finally, the yarn is gathered into cones for weaving looms, hanks for dying, and balls for knitting. The balls are steamed which bulks the fibre and sets the twists. You can purchase all three of these types of yarn directly from us.
If you’re a wool grower or have over 120kgs of scoured wool you’d like processed into yarn please contact us to find out more about how we can create beautiful yarn for you.
* Canterbury Wool Scours, based in Washdyke, Timaru are local scourers who remove the dirt and grease from the fleece. Unscoured fleece can’t be processed as the grease clogs up the machinery.
YOUR FLEECE CRAFTED INTO FIBRE
Since 2010 Wild Earth Yarns has been processing fibre on contract for growers. You only need a minimum batch size of 120kgs of professionally scoured* fibre with no maximum limit. We can process single fibres, or blend your own special combination of wool and another fibre such as mohair, alpaca or possum. You bring the fleeces and we’ll make the yarn.