Unique to the UK, The British Wool Marketing Board is the only organisation in the world that collects, grades, sells and promotes fleece wool.
It is a farmer owned marketing organisation which, after a grading process, sells wool on behalf of its producers in a series of auctions over a 12 month period. Controlling the UK fleece market means The British Wool Marketing Board can achieve the best possible net return for farmers across the UK.
Harrison Spinks were thrilled to be invited to visit the British Wool Marketing Board’s headquarters in Bradford where we got to meet some of the team behind the day to day running’s of the offices, and were able to take a tour around Bradford’s wool depot.
The Grading Warehouse
Once the sheep are sheared annually from early spring to late summer, their wool is taken to British Wool Marketing Board depots within the farm’s locality. Every fleece is sorted or graded by hand and eye in a process that sees the fleeces from farms across the country divided in to types for the textile trade. Grading fleeces is a highly skilled job, with graders enduring five years of apprenticeship before they are a qualified grader.
Wool graded and ready to be distributed
Whilst in the depot, the wool is also scientifically tested to provide full details to buyers – this will examine the yield, fineness, colour and condition of the fibre. Once sorted, the British wool is then sold at auctions held fortnightly in Bradford where Merchants gather to bid for wool in an electronic auction. Here the wool passes from the sheep farming world into the hands of the textile industry, where it goes on to be washed and utilised for its next use in life.
Whilst the British Wool Marketing Board collects grades and sells fleece, it also embraces a number of wool promotions. One of their most recent campaigns is The Campaign for Wool, which is a multi-national, cross-industry coalition working to raise the profile of wool as the natural sustainable fibre for fashion and interiors. With HRH the Prince of Wales being the patron of the campaign, it has been one of its most successful.
Harrison Spinks are proud supporters of The Campaign for Wool and we are firm believers in utilising versatile wool in our beds. But why choose a mattress with wool fillings? Not only is it sustainable, biodegradable and renewable, it also has a number of unique properties. Its natural breathability, insulation and moisture-wicking properties means you’re kept warm in the winter and cool in summer, it’s also anti-bacterial making it the perfect mattress fillings for people who are allergic to things such as synthetic fibres or dust mites.
Wool is a magical natural filling for our bed’s, that not only makes our mattresses special but when it’s not used from the Harrison Spinks farm, it is locally sourced, helping to support local farmers.