The wool union of Almere

Since a few years, parks in the new town of Almere are grazed by a flock of about 200 sheep. They love to eat the giant hogweed, a local plague. The sheep are owned by Stad & Natuur (city & nature, in Dutch), a foundation that aims to engage the inhabitants of Almere with the natural surroundings of the city. In 2013, Stad & Natuur approached us and asked if we could make a proposal for a wool brand selling products made of wool from their sheep.

We started to ask around to find out which factory in Holland would be able to produce woolen products out of raw wool. To our astonishment, we found out that no such factory existed anymore in the Netherlands. Whoever had some wool to be processed, needed to take it to a wool factory in Germany, or Denmark. But not anymore.

We built a small scale human powered wool factory, consisting of machines for washing, carding, dying and felting the wool. And we started the wool union of Almere. Anyone can become a members of this society and help process the wool, using the wool machines. Every year, a young designer will design a product for the Almere wool collection, that can be made by the members of the union during four workshop afternoons. In 2014, Uli Budde designed the first product: a felt lamp.

nominated for the Dutch Design Awards 2015

client: Stad en Natuur Almere
location: Almere
year of realisation: 2014
engineering & machines: Breg Hanssen,
design lamp "wikkel": Uli Budde
photography: Jorn van Eck