JmfHu226 - Blacker Yarns

History

The Natural Fibre Company is a specialist, vertically integrated mill and the only one  in the country to spin both woollen and worsted yarns under the same roof – providing a convenient, reliable and affordable service for customers in the UK and throughout the world.

Our services are fully licensed for organic production by the Soil Association and we are supported by the Rural Development Programme for England and DEFRA.

Since relocating to Cornwall in 2005 we have worked on over 50 of the 60-plus breeds that make up the 33 million sheep in Britain. We sort, scour and card fleece before spinning it into the finished form. It can be pure or blended and is returned in balls, hanks or on cones.

Blacker Yarns is a sister company of The Natural Fibre Company and we produce a range of contemporary, high-quality, breed-specific yarns in a large variety of colour palettes, made exclusively from British sheep.

Timeline

Mid-1980s

The founder, Rose Elworthy sets up the business, Amy Rose Collection in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.

1991

Myra Mortlock buys the company from Rose, renaming the business The Natural Fibre Company and moves it to Lampeter in mid Wales. At Lampeter, the mill spins wool on a small scale, largely for smallholders. With her husband Philip, Myra produces natural and un-dyed wool, spun in the traditional way.

2004

The Mortlocks retire and approach their customer, Cornish born, Gotland sheep breeder, Sue Blacker about taking over the business.

2005

Sue develops and submits a business plan for European Union Objective 1 funding, based on the results of a research survey identifying what customers past and present want. Once approved, the company under Sue’s ownership relocates to a 10,000 sq ft factory space in Launceston in Cornwall.

2006

The first organic production runs. Scouring and blending take place.

Mohair and alpaca start to go through the mill

2007

Worsted and semi worsted spinning services are added

2008

A dye plant is installed.

Blacker Designs is created and an online shop trading as Blacker Yarns is launched.

2012

The newly formed, Blacker Swan partnership brings Falkland Islands wool to the UK.

The business continues to grow, attracting website visits by people from over 119 countries

2013

A mezzanine floor and another 5,000 sq ft are added to the factory space to expand production and a storage area is created at the mill.

2019

Colin Spencer Halsey and Graham Higgins, the current owners of the business, take over from Sue Blacker.

 

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