From sweater to yarn
The process and life cycle of woollen knitwear, from the consumer back to the consumer
I have been in the textile recycling business for thirty years. due to lockdown and having plenty time on my hands i have embarked on a new project. Here is my story
Unloading The Bales
We buy large bales of mixed woollen clothing which has been thrown away as scrap in the UK. We unload these bales from the wagon using a forklift truck and deposit them in our warehouse ready for sorting.
Into The Unknown
The next step is to break into the bale by cutting the plastic straps which hold an incredible amount of pressure as the bales are pressed in a hydraulic pressing machine
The Wool Mountain
Once the packaging has been removed we are exposed to a wall of multicoloured woollen knits. Most of the clothing is washed up and unable to be re worn. Ordinarily this would have travelled half way around the world to India and Pakistan but by keeping the recycling process here in the UK this completely eliminates the carbon footprint caused by shipping transport.
The knitwear is then sorted into different shades to recycle the colour along with the fibre, which means we avoid adding chemicals to dye the material and also we eliminate using thousands of gallons of water which is normally used in the dyeing process.
We also remove all the zips, buttons and labels before shredding.
The knitwear is then shredded or pulled back into a semi-fibrous condition ready for blending. Where it is blended with 20% new wool which gives the fibre more length.
This is a picture of our very first bale after shredding and blending the recycled wool ready to go for carding and spinning into the final product.
The Carding & Spinning
After the woollen fibres have been blended the fibres are then carded ready to be spun into yarn
The Final Product
The whole process is carried out within a 15 mile radius of Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, thus again reducing the carbon footprint of the whole process.
The yarn can then be knitted or woven, making beautiful products from recycled fibres to begin a new life all over again.
We will produce knitting wool, hand knit craft yarn, machine knit for weaving and carded blend for felting.