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About Our Yarn

Living with the environment, not against it

Uradale Farm is located in Shetland. We are a fully certified Organic farm that exclusively rears the Native Shetland breed of sheep and cattle. The Native Shetland sheep belong to the North Atlantic short tailed breed that can be found from the Isle of Man in the west, over the Hebrides, the Orkney and Shetland archipelagos, to the Faroe Islands, Western and Northern Norway, as well as Iceland and Greenland. The key benefit of specializing exclusively in Native breeds is that these ancient breeds have evolved over thousands of years to adapt to the conditions of their particular environments. This means that they demand minimal human input. The Native Shetland sheep thus thrive on what is available in Uradale, roaming freely from the heathery hills over the grassed valleys down to the seaweed on the beaches.

Since we do not need to supplement the diet of our sheep with soy or grain, this means that their carbon footprint is lower than conventional breeds. We also do not prophylactically treat them with antibiotics (or similar), which again reduces their overall carbon footprint. By keeping our livestock at a sustainable level, we ensure that the Uradale sheep and cattle help maintain a healthy peatland, the largest carbon store in the world, allowing it to grow at its natural rate. As a result, our livestock is essentially carbon neutral.

The Native Shetland sheep have adapted to stay outdoors all year round. They are small, agile and have developed naturally multicoloured double coated fleeces, with the long, coarse outer fibre acting as a water repeller, while the short, dense and very fine inner coat acts as a thermal layer; a clever solution to keep the animal dry and warm in this wet and windy climate. It is the fine inner coat that gets spun into yarn.


Our wool is certified Organically scoured. After that it is fully traceable and spun at New Lanark Mills on a restored historical spinning mule from 1891. The historical machinery is powered by renewable energy, generated by their water turbine, which keeps the environmental impact to a minimum. The mule spins horizontally rather than vertically, which is a slower process, but which is gentler on the fibres, also ensuring a stronger and more even twine. The dyed yarn is certified Organically dyed, and both the shades and colour names are based on the plants that grow around Uradale. Our yarn remains unbleached throughout the process, which means that more of the natural lanolin in the wool is kept. This makes the yarn both softer to the touch yet stronger, more insulating and more water repellent. It also means that the undyed shades truly reflect the colours of the sheep, which will vary slightly from year to year, depending on the conditions during that particular year. It is yarn the way it used to be: naturally good.