The Knitted Bear Company is committed to using and promoting the wool from heritage rare breeds many of which graze wildflower rich grassland, helping to make conservation grazing more economically viable. Grasslands are a key feature of the English countryside, for centuries these habitats have been maintained by grazing sheep and other livestock. Without these animals our fields would turn to scrub, and we would lose the unique plants, insects and mammals that rely on our grassland habitats.
The best sheep for conservation grazing are the heritage rare breeds being very hardy and able to withstand adverse weather conditions. They will eat rough grass, twigs and brambles that modern breeds won’t touch, preventing the scrub from taking over. Unlike modern sheep however, heritage breeds tend to be small and slower growing, many produce excellent meat and fleeces but because they grow slowly are no longer used commercially. Sadly many of these breeds are now disappearing and some are close to extinction.
All of our hand spun yarn and every bear is made using 100% pure, undyed wool from these declining heritage breeds of British sheep.
Our wool is undyed and unbleached, reflecting the many different colours of Britain’s native sheep breeds. Each produces a distinctive wool, from the hardy, water-repellant near black Hebridean to the soft, lustrous cream coloured Wensleydale.
The sheep range from the tiny seaweed eating North Ronaldsay to the huge Wensleydale with its long, silky fleece. They come from the Scottish Islands, the Yorkshire Dales, the Welsh hills and of course the South Downs.
Please click on the photos for more details.