Creative Matters formally announces that their handwoven custom and collection rug designs are now available in Canadian wool.  There’s a strong demand for Canadian wool floorcoverings both domestically and abroad.

As interest in sustainability grows, wool’s reputation shines brightly,” says Carol Sebert, President of Creative Matters. “ Not only is it renewable and biodegradable, it also offers stain and fire resistance without added chemicals.”

Prior to our Canadian wool revelation, Creative Matters worked mostly with New Zealand wool for our handwoven floor coverings made in India, and with Tibetan wool for our rugs handknotted in Nepal. Both of those options remain sound choices with New Zealand wool offering unparalleled consistency and Tibetan wool being renowned for its beautiful character. Wool from Canadian sheep, though, has its own special properties thanks to our colder climate. It is known for its elasticity which makes it hold its shape and also for its dyability.

The story of their experimentation with Canadian wool began in 2019 when Carol met Matthew Rowe, CEO of the Canadian Wool Council, official implementors of the Campaign for Wool in Canada. In the ensuing months they hatched a plan to demonstrate the superior qualities of Canadian wool with the creation of a mini-collection of three rugs. Matthew brought acclaimed interior designer Sarah Richardson to the party and the design work began. Fast forward to the fall of 2020 when we released our capsule Canadian wool collection to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Campaign for Wool – a patronage of long-time environmentalist HRH The Prince of Wales – to great fanfare including a feature in Architectural Digest Online.

The three rugs of the introductory Canadian wool capsule collection.

The three rugs of the introductory Canadian wool capsule collection 

 

Very different from each other, the three rug designs demonstrate well the versatility of Canadian wool. “The weavers have shared that Canadian wool is softer on their hands and takes more dye than other wools, allowing for a supple texture and rich colours,” said our mill owner where two of the rugs were handwoven. The positive feedback from the mills in India and Nepal increased the confidence of Creative Matters and the Canadian Wool Council that they had a recipe for success.

Enjoy this short film about our Canadian wool story

For our ongoing program of offering floorcoverings in Canadian wool, we have again teamed up with The Canadian Wool Council. “Wool for the collection and custom rugs will be sourced from Canadian sheep growers like Breezy Ridge Farms in Georgina, Ontario where it is harvested safely and humanely by a skilled shearer before being sent off for grading and sorting,” said Matthew.

Breezy Ridge Farms in Georgina, Ontario is just one of the Canadian wool growers.

Breezy Ridge Farms in Georgina, Ontario is just one of the Canadian wool growers.

After grading, our wool goes to the family-owned Briggs & Little Mill which has been operating in New Brunswick since 1857. There the wool is washed, picked, carded and spun into yarn. Briggs & Little is one of the last mills in Canada to carry on this tradition and is a major local employer. The wool is then shipped to one of our mills in India or Nepal that has the artisanal expertise to weave fine carpets.

Canadian wool in the making at Briggs & Little Mill in New Brunswick.

Canadian wool in the making at Briggs & Little Mill in New Brunswick.

Canadian wool rugs support the entire value-chain of wool production and demonstrate a value-added use for this precious natural resource. In addition, a portion of the proceeds of every rug goes to The Canadian Wool Council, a non-profit organization devoted to supporting Canada’s wool growers and educating consumers on the wonders of wool.

Artisans handknot the Hampton rug at a mill overseen by Label STEP.

Artisans handknot the Hampton rug at a mill overseen by Label STEP.

As with all of our handwoven rugs, Swiss NGO Label STEP, ensures that our Canadian wool rugs are produced under fair trade practices.

Ready-designed and custom-designed Canadian wool rugs are available directly from Creative Matters.

See more about our adventures with Canadian wool: https://www.creativemattersinc.com/campaign-for-wool