The wool I use for the wallhangings always comes from Dutch sheep, and local; from the center of the Netherlands around Soest, the village where I live. I think it is important to know where my materials, the wool, come from and not only to know but also to actually see them. This way my product feels honest and valuable to me.
A few of these addresses:
Ester Floor is a shepherd of Schaapskudde Utrechtse Heuvelrug under the name Floor Landschapsbeheer. Her sheep are kept on the grounds of Soestdijk Palace, among other places, and she often walks from here into the heath and forests towards Lage Vuursche. Her sheep contribute to landscape management through natural grazing.
Ester keeps approximately 250 Veluwe, Kempen, Drenthe and Ouessant Heath sheep. These are breeds that have very beautiful, special wool. Being a shepherd like Esther is more than just a job, it’s a way of life. The sheep are like children to her. I mainly buy white wool from Ester because most of her sheep have white wool. Both white short-haired wool and long-haired white wool can come from her. www.floorlandschapsbeheer.nl
Piet van Bethlehem is sheep shearer and works in the yard owned by the Paardenkamp Foundation and where my studio is located. I already knew Piet as a small child; he trimmed my pony’s hooves on the adjacent farm of my grandfather and grandmother. Piet is also a sheep shearer. He shears all kinds of different breeds of sheep in a radius of a few kilometers around Soest. The wool from Herman van Veen’s sheep also appears occasionally. Piet shears all kinds of sheep; white Drenthe heath sheep and also many brown and black Ouessant sheep.
Coby lives in a village next to Soest and owns a few Coburger Fuchs sheep at her farm. Her sheep are her joy and her life. She talks to the sheep and often takes them for walks in the village, she knows them inside and out. And the sheep love to cuddle with her (not with me). Coburger Fuchs sheep have an ecru, light brown color coat of short hair.
José is the owner of the Treeker Wissel sheep herd. Her sheep graze in the Utrechtse Heuvelrug region, and mainly in the nature reserves between Den Treek and the Leusderheide. At José I mainly buy the coats of the Veluws Kemp cross Solognote. This is a short-haired ecru colored wool. www.treekerwissel.nl
At Schaapskudde Blaricum you will mainly find Drenthe heath sheep. This wool has very long tufts. The herd grazes the Goois nature reserve. The flock has an important task, the sheep ensure that the heath is maintained. They graze the grasses between the heather plants and ensure the dispersal of seeds with their fur. During the shearing festival, the sheep are mainly clipped by hand. www.gnr.nl
Here you can read why it is so important to use local Dutch sheepwool instead of wool from Australia or other places far away.