Back in the 1970’s Wingham Wool was started by Ruth Gough, producing handspun yarns and knitwear. It soon became clear that customers not only wanted to by the garments but also wanted to learn how to make them themselves. Ruth started giving lessons and built up a small stock of fibres and equipment to supply her students. Over time interest grew and people started coming from further away for tuition.
In 1987 we moved to our current base in the small village of Wentworth. Fortunately we’re not too far away from the traditional textile centres of Bradford and Holmfirth. Ruth began visiting these processing factories and became a familiar face, dealing one-to-one with the industrial manufacturers in order to get the best deals. This allowed us to build up a wide range of fibres at the best prices, building our stocks and supplying mail order throughout the country. We also developed our processing machinery, allowing us to create our own fibre blends.
At this time the range of fibres available on the open market was very limited for spinners and feltmakers. While spun yarns were in abundance, it seemed there was very little in the way of natural and dyed woollen tops. By this time we knew the demand was there, so we set about building a stock of animal fibres that were of high quality, but also of consistent quality. Today much of what we sell began life during this period.
Wingham Wool has now grown into a family business, with Ruth’s husband Alan and son Tom both working full time, together with office staff, mail order packers and the shop team. Every day we ship fibres and equipment throughout the world and have visitors coming to the shop, where Ruth still gives tuition and courses, just as she did 30 years ago.