How Baavet Wool Duvets are made

How Baavet Wool Duvets are made
 
The wool for Baavet completely natural wool duvets comes from British Sheep. On British farms we don’t “factory farm” sheep they are farmed extensively. “Extensive farming” could be described as ‘free range’ farming. The sheep have the freedom to roam the fields and hills of the UK, grazing naturally. The busiest times on the farm are lambing in the spring and shearing in the summer. Sheep farming is practiced in the same traditional way as it has been for hundreds of years.
The Baavet Wool Duvet originates on the hills and in the valleys of British farms with the onset of the sheep farming year, in the autumn. Everyone mentioned on this page is a real person.
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step One.  Will Jones is a typical sheep farmer. Will and his family have reared sheep on their farm, in the Welsh mountains, for generations. The sheep on Will’s farm graze the rugged high mountains and deep sheltered valleys of the Snowdonia National Park. In the autumn Will and his two sons, Dylan and Gwyndaf, gather (round up) the ewes from the mountains with their border collie dogs and bring them to the lower fields where they are put to the rams for mating or ‘tupping’. He mates Texel and Blue Faced Leicester rams with his Welsh mountain ewes. This provides bigger lambs with a softer quality wool. In early spring the lambs are born. From 5am in the morning to late in the evening, even though it is dark, Will and his sons are out in the fields checking their ewes in case any are having problems birthing. Lambing usually lasts a month. There are regular gathers throughout the year to check the health of the sheep. Then, in early summer, Will and his sons gather the sheep for shearing. Sheep shearing is a back-breaking but skilled job and, in a normal flock, will take all day. The shearer's are usually young farmers, who travel from farm to farm during shearing time. Many of these young farmers come from as far afield (boom – boom!) as New Zealand and Australia to work on the British farms during the shearing season, which can take all summer.
 
Shearing usually involves the whole family - there are jobs for everyone. The sheep are penned and brought one at a time to the shearer.  The shearer carefully shears the sheep with electric clippers in one continuous process which results in a big fluffy fleece.  This is carefully rolled up, tied into a bundle and put into a very large wool sack which can hold around 60/80 fleeces. specific uses. Once graded, the fleeces are repacked into approximately 200 kilo bales. A core sample is taken from every graded wool bale and is sent for scientific testing for quality by a wool testing laboratory before the wool is sold.
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step Two.  Meirion Jones- British Wool Marketing Board Wool Grader. Will's wool fleeces are taken to an enormous industrial shed on two levels.  The wool sacks, from Will and all the other farmers in the area are stored on the ground floor. Every day, Meirion and his team of graders, begin the quality control process. The wool goes on a conveyor belt up to the second floor. The large sacks are opened and the contents spread on tables. Every individual fleece is graded by hand, into the different qualities of wool for specific uses. Once graded, the fleeces are repacked into 180kilo bails. A core sample is taken from every graded wool bale and is sent for scientific testing for quality by a wool testing laboratory before the wool is sold.
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step Three.  Tim Parkes and his team -The Wool Testers. Tim and his team at the The Wool Testing Authority take a core sample from every bale of wool produced. Each sample is rigorously scientifically tested for quality. The wool receives certification guaranteeing its integrity and quality. Tim and his team test and certify wools from the whole of the northern hemisphere.
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step Four.  Thomas Chadwick’s - Cleaning the Wool; ‘scouring’. Once the wool has been graded and tested it travels to Thomas Chadwick’s of Dewsbury, one of only two scourers in the country, to be washed. The fleeces are put into giant tanks of hot soapy water; literally giant washing machines. The washing process removes the lanolin, natural oil, and any dirt or animal muck Our wool has a second washing process to make it even cleaner. Nothing goes to waste in the process. Everything is recycled. The lanolin is used in
many different industries, including pharmaceutical and cosmetics. Even the sheep muck that is washed out returns to farms as manure. Then the washed wool is dried and the clean, fluffy wool is ready for the next process.
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step Five.  The Carder - the process of teasing out the wool and combing into soft woollen layers. The Mill has been carding wool since 1934 and the owner David has been in the wool trade all of his life. At 72 he is still as keen as ever to produce a quality product. His son also David works alongside his father as the engineer for the Mill. Together they run one of the last remaining traditional carding mills in Yorkshire.
 
We take our clean and fluffy wool to the mill. The process starts with the wool being placed into large hoppers from where it is fed into the giant carding machine. These machines consist of a series of large rollers like an old fashioned washing mangle. The rollers have hundreds of tiny spikes all around them which pull or tease the wool out into longer fibres. After traveling around the rollers the teased woollen fibres are then fed onto a continuous moving bed of soft fluffy fibre. The carding machine can be set to produce different thicknesses and weights depending on the wool’s eventual use.
We have now added a quilting machine into the carding line so the wool, in its fine fluffy state and without any artificial treatment can be fed directly into the cotton fabric producing a roll of quilt. This sounds a simple process but the quilting machine itself is a very complex piece of engineering and it has taken many months of trial and error for David to marry the 2 processes of carding and quilting together into one complete production line. 
 
Wool Duvet Manufacture - Step Six.  The rolls of wool quilting are then dispatched back to Wales from where it began its journey. Here under the ancient walls of Harlech Castle, discreetly hidden away in a small industrial estate the quilting rolls are made into the individual Baavet products. The Baavets are then ready for packing and dispatch.