Many of O-Wool's yarns are dyed in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. The mill was built in 1885 and has served a wide variety of textile services, including spinning, dyeing, weaving and carpet making. It currently produces woven twill tapes and provides dyeing services. Germantown, like Kensington, had a booming textile manufacturing industry that is now almost completely gone. In Philadelphia, it is a rare and beautiful thing to see a textile mill that is still a textile mill. Despite some technological advances, when I walk in to this mill I am humbled by its history, and feel honored when I step in to the dye house and see O-Wool dripping over the pots.
O-Wool is spun in the USA. One of our three mills is located outside of Boston. The mill was built in the mid-1700s and is one of the oldest operating spinning mills in the country. The gentlemen who run it have charming Boston accents and speak textile like it is their first language. They brim with technical information and are fascinating, but I try to keep my calls brief as it sounds like they have to shut down the machinery to speak with me. When our mill isn’t spinning O-Wool, they are spinning yarn that’s used to make part of the core of major league baseballs.
The heart of O-Wool has always lain in certified organic fibers. I source merino wool from certified organic farms in South America or Australia (non-mulesed). I source cotton from certified organic farms in the USA. I source my alpaca from a family farms within 1 hour of Philadelphia!
If you would like detailed information on O-Wool’s fiber sourcing and animal welfare standards, cleaning, spinning and dyeing processes, please read the FAQ!
Second to fiber, animals are a true love of mine. I have been vegetarian for 18 years and have made it O-Wool's priority to purchase humanely-produced fiber. This means non-mulesed Merino raised under the animal welfare regulations of certified organic production, or local fiber from animals and farmers I have met. I've finally moved out of the city to a beautiful old historic millworker's cottage in Philadelphia's Wissahickon Valley Park. We've ventured into backyard chicken and duck farming and adore our 5 chickens and 5 ducks. I live with a shelter dog (Eda), a rescued Pit Bull (Halloumi), a shelter cat (McKinley) and a rotating cast of senior foster animals from City of Elderly Love animal rescue. My horse Chubbs lives in a barn just up the street because Pat said he couldn't live in the house. I spend my free time knitting in our beautiful old stone cottage and horseback riding through the park as much as possible! If you follow me on Instagram, you will see entirely too many photos of all of these things, and a few of yarn, too. Some day I hope to own some land where I can house O-Wool, a small farm-animal rescue/sanctuary, a couple of adopted horses, a couple of old Pit Bulls, a vegetable garden, some solar panels, and my wonderful fiance Patrick, who I hope will help me with all of it (I'm going to need it!).