We are a regional mill in South Central Texas, located in the low rolling hills outside of Independence, in Washington County. We make small-batch, land-based yarns and rovings from Texas grown natural fibers…minimally processed and traceable, with a known “Pasture of Origin”. Along with the mill, here on the farm we have a herd of 100 angora goats, with a growing flock of colored Rambouillet sheep. In addition to the Belfast spinning equipment, the mill building is home to the Little Texas Tea Room and the Mill House Yarn Shop. Adjacent to the old mill building, a renovated chicken coop serves as our Dye Shed and workshop gathering space.
So, welcome. Take a look around. This is us.
Dawn and Paul Brown
Why Texas wool & mohair?
Our goal in being a regional wool mill is to process the abundant fiber that our land produces, specifically wool and mohair. Texas has a rich heritage of sheep and goat ranching, and has exceptional producers growing premium wool and mohair. The large commercial fine wool flocks raised in the Edwards Plateau are primarily rambouillet, with notable flocks of debouillet and even some delaine merino. These sheep, like the commercial angora goat herds run in the same region, are mostly white in color. These animals are raised out on the range, a suitable environment for the production of fine fiber. Often times remnants of this range can still be found in our yarn, and we like that reminder- it connects the land to the flock or herd. Due to the loss of processing infrastructure in the U.S., the bulk of wool and mohair in Texas is now exported. However, we strive to keep a bit here at home- creating a truly locally grown and locally processed yarn.
Overall, we are sustainable, traceable, and minimally processed. The yarn created in our mill begins with fleeces straight from the sheep and goats. Raw wool and mohair- sourced from our own stock, as well as producers from across the state. Our white rambouillet wool is selected each spring during our wool classing work in West Texas. The bulk of our white mohair comes from producers in the Hill Country and Pecos River Region of far West Texas. Our sourcing process allows for traceability- each yarn having a distinct “Pasture of Origin” included on the label. All of the fiber is scoured here on site using an eco-friendly citrus based soap. Our Belfast mill equipment provides for minimal processing and semi-worsted spinning- leaving the yarn with a more natural handle, more life and bounce, as compared to the intense wool combing effect found in commercially worsted spun yarns. Yarns are often left in natural shades, or dyed using plant-based foraged dye stuffs. We also use Greener Shades acid dyes that are environmentally friendly, lacking heavy metals.
How I got (back) to wool
Raising sheep and goats, and the mill, were certainly a career change. My(Dawn) background is in medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology to be exact. However, as I discovered along the way, I had a deep connection to the land, and wool, going back for generations. Stay tuned to this story, as I plan to share my Texas heritage and its wool connection though the mill blog.
YARN. BORN IN TEXAS.
Our mission at Independence Wool & Mohair is to proudly showcase our state’s natural fibers, and the sheep and goat ranching industry that makes it all possible. We value this connection between the land and the animals, and to the fiber they grow for us year after year. Through sharing the story, the process, and the yarn produced along this journey from land to fiber...we hope a meaningful connection will be found and enjoyed by you as well.