Let's take a closer look at the wool characteristics from 7 different breeds of sheep that make up the bulk of our fantastic Premium Eco Wool. Our trusted mill developed their Sustainable Wool Program for family sheep farms in the USA.
Have you heard this phrase?
"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
This is true in the case of the wools we source here at Holy Lamb Organics. One of the main 100% wool blends we use to handcraft our natural bedding products is called Premium Eco Wool.
The following breakout gives an introduction to most of the types of sheep fleeces used in our Premium Eco-Wool™. You can see already it's a diverse and long list!
A popular breed with a heavy white fleece and medium wool grade, the Columbia wool brings a sturdiness to our blend.
The Wool Gatherer Carding Mill
Balancing all of these wool fibers into a premium 100% wool blend happens at the Wool Gatherer Carding Mill. Our trusted, like-minded partners, the experts at our mill are the artists who source the wool directly from family farms in California and Oregon.
At a USA facility, under the guidance of our mill, the wool is scoured or cleaned, and the fibers of different breeds are blended. Then the mill will card the wool, a step which further cleans and aligns the wool fibers. All this work produces an incredible uniform material for us to use in our bedding. Read more about this process in the mill link above.
Our mill is more than 100 years old and has created the Sustainable Wool Program that gives small USA sheep farmers a means to sell their fibers right here at home. We're so proud of the work this mill does, and how our organic natural bedding fosters the economy for local family farms through this partnership.
We are also proud of the ethical treatment the sheep receive in our Sustainable Wool Program. Read more about the high standards farmers in this program uphold here.
Everyone wins when sustainability, best practices and quality veterinary and stewardship of sheep are at play.
Indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. And we're proud to be a part of the whole.
It's mighty exciting our 15th year in business coinciding with the Year of the Sheep! We took a look around this month and found that sheep, rams and lambs are indeed, everywhere. In literature, Chinese astrology and tradition, in ancient civilizations, religion, the media...even in our dreams. Let's hold a birthday candle to....The Sheep!
The Year of the Sheep
In the Chinese Astrology Calendar, we’re approaching the Year of the Sheep, or sometimes Ram. Specifically, 2015 is the Year of the Green Wooden Sheep.
Travel China Guide notes, “People under the sign of the sheep are tender, polite, filial, clever, and kind-hearted. They have special sensitivity to art and beauty, faith in a certain religion and a special fondness for quiet living. They are wise, gentle and compassionate and can cope with business cautiously and circumspectly.”
References in Religion
Lambs, rams and sheep are mentioned frequently throughout pastures of religion and mythology.
In the Bible, Christ is known as the “lamb of God”, and Jesus is also referred to as a Shepherd, with his followers as being a “flock.” There’s the story of the Lion & the Lamb, the Sacrificial Lamb and more.
Per, the website ThinkDifferentlyAboutSheep.com, “In Judaism in accordance with the mandate of the Torah...a lamb, known as the Paschal Lamb, was sacrificed on the eve of the Passover".
In Masonic culture, lambs signify innocence and purity. And folks, there’s plenty more on the topic.
There's a popular story in Buddhist tradition where Buddha carries and injured lamb behind a flock and shepherd as well. We won't give away what happens, but you can read it here.
Even in Islaamic culture, sheep and lambs have an important part to play in the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list but proves a point that these beautiful animals are easy to find in traditions and cultures around the world. Let's move on.
Rams were symbols of power and virility in ancient Sumeria and Egypt. These were polytheistic times, when people believed in many Gods. More than one of these gods appeared with the head of a ram.
One was known as Khnum, originally the god of the source of the Nile and believed to have created all the other hundreds of gods and goddesses in Egyptian times.
Again, plenty to work with in this category, but we have more examples to share...so...Onward!
Lambs in Lit
George Orwell’s Animal Farm is one longstanding classic, which included Sheep in its cast of characters.
In this story, it was the flock, rather than an individual sheep, that was a character. Almost as an updated version of a Greek Chorus, the flock even breaks into chants or phrases as a group. Per Gradesaver.com, “The Sheep--true to the typical symbolic meaning of “sheep”--represent those people who have little understanding of their situation and thus are willing to follow their government blindly.”
Not very complimentary to sheep --or to people either. But the flock stands as a group that’s loyal and willing to follow a leader. It's also a group that can change its mind to follow another leader.
In the smash whimsical story of Babe!, the character called Old Ewe (played by Evelyn Krape) befriends the orphaned wee pig and exhibits characteristics of gregariousness, nurturing, protectiveness and loyalty. She also reinforces the importance of manners in the young pig.
A nod also goes to the Greek mythological story of Jason & the Argonauts. Whether you’ve seen the 1963 film or the 2000 release, Jason is in search of …..wait for it….
The Golden Fleece!
This is THE most coveted gift of the Gods and it's a requirement to get it in order for Jason to secure the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly.
One word for this Fleece-as-a-Prize story: Epic.
If a lamb appears in your dream, it’s said to represent love, warmth and gentleness.
AWWW! (Doesn’t that just make you want to take a nap right now?)
It's no joke that sheep are on our minds throughout each day. It's no coincidence that our 15th year lands smack in the middle of the Year of the Sheep.
- The wool bedding we make for your home symbolizes and imbues love, warmth and gentleness.
- The care and preparation in the design and our sustainable work philosophies represent the loyalty and protectiveness we hold toward our precious resources. And toward making an excellent product for you and your loved ones.
So, here’s to the Year of the Sheep!
And here's to You! Our flock of friends and family! Please help us to celebrate and blow out all the candles in this, our 15th year.
Sheep are symbols of the simple goodness we bring to life when we have the desire and affection to do good for others and to be good ourselves. --Unknown