It’s about wool and all its world, which excites and fascinates me so much, that I will write here. From the sheep, which give us the wool, to the woolen ball that reaches our hands, there is a long way through to explore. But let’s break this down by parts, or rather, by articles.
Knitting a sweater by hand can be crazy (it takes a long time, several hours!). But knitting a sweater by hand with Portuguese wool, which is natural and with a known origin, I think it’s a much better madness!
You may ask me why knitting a sweater when I can buy one already made at any store and it costs me less money and gives me so little work? And why should I be interest and worry myself about knitting a sweater with Portuguese and natural wool, when it has a much higher price and it’s not always accessible to the general public? And I ask you in return: Have you ever tried to look at the labels of these sweaters, see the fibers they are made from? How they are made? Imagine who are the people who make them? Think why they have such a low price?
I started my whole wool adventure questioning myself about all these things. Knitting a sweater (or any other piece) for me or anyone else has much more value. For example, if you ask someone to knit a sweater for you, you are appreciating their work, their time, their creativity and beyond that, you are also contributing to a more sustainable, solidary and happier world.
Knowing the fiber that I work with is essential and if it is of Portuguese origin, even better! I support the use a national, natural and organic fiber. In Portugal I defend the use of Portuguese wool. I protect and share projects that, fortunately, are already dedicated to market the Portuguese wool, on most cases of artisanal production, and that do not use chemicals or any addition of synthetic fibers.
My tricot work is carried out with Portuguese wool. Sometimes I do like to try other international brands, brands that are the result of craft processes and family businesses. Believe me that I am so much happier. I’m much happier because I know the origin of the string of wool that I have in my hands and it feels do good to work it. It’s so different to work a natural fiber than it is to work a synthetic one. Try it!
I love the way natural fibers feel on my skin while I work. Wearing a piece of clothing with all these features is a sensation sometimes difficult to describe. Some have the idea that wool stings your skin. From my view, wool does not sting at all. Wool is the best existing natural fiber in the world and the most versatile: it’s waterproof, sturdy, elastic, flexible, soft…
I am also happier because I am valuing the Portuguese heritage, Portuguese culture, our sheep breeds, and especially the people who work and live on wool production. I am happier when I learn something new related to the wonderful world of wool, and since I started to learn the process by which wool goes from sheep to the woolen ball, I’m always fascinated to think what a magnificent idea someone had one day by looking at a sheep (or a flock of them!) and realizing that it would be possible to use its fur’s fiber to produce warm clothes… Lucky for us we have sheep!
This post was originally written in Portuguese. Click here for the original text.