History

The Natural Fibre Company is a specialist, vertically integrated mill and the only company in the country that spins both woollen and worsted yarns under the same roof. We have a dye plant and are licensed for organic production by the Soil Association.

Although Myra Mortlock started The Natural Fibre Company in Merthyr Tydfil in 1991, the business was a continuation of one she bought from Rose Elworthy who launched it in the mid-1980s as the Amy Rose Collection. It spun wool on a small scale, largely for smallholders. With her husband Philip, Myra carried on producing natural and un-dyed wool spun in the traditional way, later moving the business to an industrial unit at Lampeter in Mid Wales.

When the Mortlocks decided to retire in 2004, they agreed that one of their customers, Gotland sheep breeder Sue Blacker, should take the business over. Cornish-born Sue, a one-time stockbroker, but more recently involved with economic development in the South West and an environmental charity, approached customers past and present with a research survey to determine exactly what they wanted.

She put together a business plan which was approved for European Union Objective 1 funding in the spring of 2005. The company was taken over from the Mortlocks on 14 November and relocated in a 10,000 sq ft factory at Launceston in Cornwall close to the Devon border.

Scouring and blending began later that month while the first organic run was in January 2006. Mohair and alpaca started going through the mill in May 2006; worsted and semi worsted spinning were added in July 2007. In 2008 the company installed a dye plant and launched the on-line shop which trades as Blacker Yarns/Designs.

The Natural Yarn Company was created in 2012 to help customers of the Natural Fibre Company market their yarns and related products.