For many years the wool has been exported
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The volunteers project Pleed, which has begun the initative, is unhappy that the wool from 240 sheep in and around Leeuwarden is exported to China. The project has been set up to make more products locally.
“It was a big shock for us to hear that the wool is shipped to China”, says Johanna van Benthem, of Pleed. The artist heard about the export of the wool earlier this year: “it was just at the time that the MSC Zoe’s hundreds of containers had been lost. We thought ‘we get a lot of mess from China, but we send off our lovely stuff.’” From this, the idea for Pleed was born.
The wool is given as a gift by the shepherd, but naturally must first be spun before it can be knitted. “We have, therefore, put out a call for help- and there are lots of people who have come forward to help spin the yarn.” It seems that there are a lot of people in Friesland who have mastered the craft: “we also now have young people that can spin, or those who are learning from scratch.”
There is significant enthusiasm for a cottage spinning industry, that in the coming year a new spinnery will be set up in the north of the province. The wool that is now ready to be further worked into textiles will be handed over to knitters, crochet-ers, and other craftspeople. “They can then get to work!”, says van Benthem. It is hoped that by May, all of the wool will have been turned into blankets and other textiles.
For more information, just visit pleed.nl