Lap Robes and Throws and our other wool bedding are made from a combination of the 6000 lbs of wool annually shorn from our sheep combined with others, then processed gently to retain natural lanolin. That means they are soft to the touch, not prickly, and have all the wonderful characteristics of wool – hypoallergenic; naturally fire resistant; resilient, cool in summer and warm in winter and importantly, entirely washable.
Wool Throws and Lap Robes are woven of 100% pure Canadian wool.
The Throws are half the size of a Queen blanket; measuring 6’ 6” by 4’ 4”, close to the size of a single bed blanket. They are now available only in the popular checkerboard patterns, which combine two or more colours in both the warp and the weft, both natural and dyed tones. They are perfect for curling up with on a couch or in recliner, long enough to wrap around shoulders. The man modelling in this photo with his little girl is over 6 feet tall.
The Wool Lap Robes are 4’ x 5’ in dimensions. They are available in natural white with colour bands and also in our tweed colours, with the natural white yarn in the warp, woven with your choice of colour in the weft. They are wonderful and cosy, perfect to keep a lap warm; decorative for any setting. They also work well to keep toes warm, when placed on the foot of a bed.
The tradition of processing wool gently, without harsh chemicals, has been maintained by the woollen mill in the Maritimes. Most of their looms are old too, and the Lap Robes haven’t been available for awhile. Thankfully, this Woollen Mill, once water-run, has again made them available to Topsy Farms and to you.
The Campaign for Wool was initiated by Prince Charles in England, as a result of his desire to increase the market for British and Commonwealth wool and to promote awareness of its environmental benefits. The Campaign expanded to Canada in the past two years, with Holt Renfrew as a major participant.
Buyers from Holt Renfrew’s chose Topsy’s products for their Campaign for Wool shop
The 5 minute interview with Sally, explores why our wool products are unusually soft and not prickly as a result of our caring pasture-raised sheep practices and the gentle, chemical-free wool processing techniques used.
Wei Chan asked about the startling impact of being contacted by the Princes’ Charities, on behalf of Prince Charles and was met with a laugh.
Please enjoy our cheerful radio discussion.
Our Wool Shed which sells natural wool products is in a small, gently aging ice house/milk house. It is almost at the end of a dead-end gravel road, on an Island. Not the ideal location one might think, for drive-by traffic. We’ve been, as one customer said “a well-kept secret”.
But increasingly, we are not only reaching out to our immediate community, but also across the province and to east, west, and north of Canada. We are now beginning to have our wool products appreciated world-wide.
Well before Christmas, two sets of grandparents came to us, seeking gifts. We had reports back that one newborn in Inuvik N.W.T., was thriving on her lambskin, and apparently enjoying the sheepskin-soled booties. Another pair of grandchildren in Iqualuit, Nunavuit, were happy with the child’s sheepskin mitts, lambskin, and a hat with appliquéd truck.
As we struggle to master the intricacies of getting our website ‘talking to Google’, about our wool products, we’ve had requests for bedding, blankets and sheepskins from every province across Canada except, so far, Newfoundland/Labrador.
Yarn has travelled as far as Hawaii (but mailing costs make this rather pricey) and to Alaska. We were fortunate enough to have one of our blankets featured in Canadian Living Magazine; the first couple of response came from Sudbury and from Chicago. Surprising. People from various states, including the deep south, have discovered our wool products, sometimes thanks to the birders who travel here in winter.
Beyond that we’ve mailed to Finland, other places in western Europe, and the British Isles. Often that’s thanks to Island visitors, or students at The Lodge, who come browsing.
We posted Pat Frontini’s lovely hand-woven mohair and Topsy Wool blended throw on Topsy Farms Facebook page. In two days the information was forwarded from Colorado to a friend travelling in Italy who bought it as a birthday gift to herself.
But this latest connection tops them all. One of our pink tweed blankets is having an adventure.
“I’ve received your blanket (in Calgary) and its now keeping me warm while I volunteer on a hospital ship in the Congo. I volunteer with an organization called Mercy Ships, www.mercyships.org the largest NGO hospital ship in the world. We provide free surgery to the forgotten poor in West Africa. The crew is comprised of over 400 volunteers from 35 different nations who raise funds to support themselves in coming onboard to work from anywhere between two weeks to two years.
“I registered my own Canadian NGO called Sterile Processing Education Charitable Trust (www.spectrust.org) which allows me to educate in local hospitals and teach the OR staff on how to improve their sterile technique and reduce post operative infections.
“I come and stay on the ship for 2-3 months at a time and share a small cabin with 3 bunk beds and tiny bathroom for 6 girls. Each time I return I like to bring a few things that make my bunk cozy and remind me of Canada. The Congo is extremely hot right now (feels like 43C) although the air conditioning on the ship is always on high and it feels very cold. My wool blanket has received a lot of attention because of it’s warmth and comfort. It’ll stay on the ship when I return to Canada so that others can enjoy it while I’m away and then it’ll be here for me when I get back.”
We’re humbled, honoured, proud to have our wool products accompany folks on their adventures through life.