19 May 2017

Shear Warmth

From Country Life, 9:26 pm on 19 May 2017
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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

It was a pitiful wool cheque that spurred Lyn Neeson and her daughter-in-law Monique Neeson into action.

Lyn says they were sitting around the table exhausted after a long few days of readying sheep for shearing and  feeding shearers only to receive $1.38 for a kilogram of their wool.

"And we sat here and thought there's got to be something better than that."

Lyn and Monique decided to they wanted to make a fabric from their wool.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

"I googled 'who makes bed blankets, New Zealand-made 100 percent traceable bed blankets' and there wasn't anything to be found," says Monique.

The women farm at Tokirima, 50 kilometres from Taumarunui off the Forgotten World Highway.

They arranged to have their lambs' wool scoured in Hawke's Bay, spun in Lower Hutt and woven in Auckland.

Bolts of woolen fabric arrive back in Taumarunui where its cut into various blanket sizes. The blankets are edged and then sent around New Zealand and around the world.

Last year Monique and Lyn won the emerging business category in Rural Women's Enterprising Rural Women Awards.