Blog archive

Welcome to the Gardiner Yarns blog archive. Here you’ll find a list of blog posts.

Herdwick Nm 4′s & Nm 7.2′s Stock Supported Yarn


Pretty Herdwick Sheep

Herdwick Sheep came to England during 10th and 11th centuries evolving & adapting to our climate over centuries and are a key species in the Lake District since then.. They are now the most hardy native British hill breed in the UK spending winters at over 3000 ft in Cumbrian uplands. With distinctive smiley faces the black lambs become brown when a year old and they eventually turn light grey with age.
An agricultural move more to tourism has put great pressure the breed and lately the cost of shearing (needed for the animal’s welfare) costs more than the revenue the wool generates so flocks declined. The Foot and Mouth Crisis in 2001 claimed about 25% of the remaining 100,000 sheep left. So now it is a rare and protected species.
Beatrix Potter became interested in breeding and raising Herdwick sheep, soon after acquiring Hill Top Farm in Cumbria in 1905.
Gardiner Yarns embarked on developing yarns from the Herdwick wool primarily to support the breed and help create demand for Herdwick wool in traditional Lakeland clothing products. By using fleece and marketing this hard wearing Herdwick stock supported yarn we hope to promote and raise the profile of this rare & photogenic breed. We sell the naturally coloured grey yarns allowing our customers to dye their own yarn or finished fabrics, a lot using natural plant dyes. It can also be commercially package dyed.

Stock Supported DT12 Dales Tweed Nm 6.2′s range Updated for 2021


Gardiner Yarns are pleased to announce their Dales Tweed Nm 6.2′s coloured mixture knop effect wool yarn range is now extended to a palette of 28 colours. The Dales Tweed range is inspired by the places and sights around the Yorkshire Dales. The vibrant shades in this range have contrasting knop effects. All can be viewed on our stock supported yarn page on our web site. Produced from 100% pure new wool the yarn gives a fine soft handle and is suitable for many applications from apparel, knitwear and furnishing applications.

We hold all of the colours in stock in singles and make twisted yarns to order to suit their end use. This includes mixing with other stock supported ranges either for handle, to make a marl or tonal mixture or, to achieve a yarn for a certain knitting gauge.
If you would like to talk to us more about this range please get in touch with us via our contacts page on our web site.

Unprecedented Times


In this very strange era with the impact of Covid-19 affecting us all, Gardiner Yarns are still continuing to operate. We can safely work here and follow all government distancing guidelines internally in the factory. For those of us working from home or in factories that are still able to produce, we are continuing to fulfil stock supported yarn orders.  All our lovely coloured mixture wool ranges can all be viewed on our Stock Supported Yarns page on our website.

If you are looking for yarn supply to keep actively making cloth, require sampling or shade cards for future collections or production please get in touch via our ‘contact us’ page on the website or call us!! It’s good to chat in this unusual period of our lives when time seems to stand still.

Gardiner Yarns announce the extension of their stock supported Soft Shetland Nm 11.3’s range.


Our super Soft Shetland Stock Supported Range

Stock supported super Soft Shetland Nm 11′s range

Gardiner Yarns are pleased to announce their super Soft Shetland Nm 11.3’s coloured mixture wool yarn range is extended from the current 32 shades to 60 colours.  These still include the popular traditional tones of nature including heather and moorland mixes and the newly expanded range includes many new and vibrant colours.  All can be viewed on our stock supported yarn page on our web site.

We hold all of the colours in stock in singles and twist to order to suit end use.  However we also hold this yarn in a low turns per meter knitting twist so sales can be made from as little as single cone of yarn.

If you would like to talk to us more about this range please get in touch with us via our contacts page on our web site.

Woven in Kirklees Week June 8th – June 16th


Gardiner Yarns are pleased to support the WOVEN in Kirklees initiative that has been created in partnership and collaboration with cultural organisations, artists, education settings, businesses, industry and heritage sites across the district connecting a strong heritage with today’s innovative developments in industry, university research, a strong arts and crafts scene and the creative expression of the district’s rich and diverse communities.

Herdwick Wool Yarn (Nm 7.2 & Nm 4.0)


Did you know that Gardiner Yarns hold yarn stocks of Herdwick Wool Yarn (in Nm 7.2′s & Nm 4.0′s) a rare and protected species, believed to have originated from Scandinavia the Herdwick has developed over centuries on the Lake District fells. The name ‘Herdwyck’ means sheep pasture and is recorded in 12th century documents


It is regarded as the hardiest of all British breeds and can survive on the highest ground. This breed of distinctive sheep has white head and legs. The lambs are born with a black fleece but as the more brittle ‘kemp’ fibres increase with age the mature fleece becomes a distinctive grey. Gardiner Yarns embarked on developing yarns from the Herdwick wool in 2016 primarily to support the breed and by using fleece and marketing Herdwick yarn we hope to promote and raise the profile of this hard wearing rare & photogenic breed. We stock support both a light grey and dark grey base ecru yarn in two counts; Nm 7.2’s and Nm 4’s. Our stock supported Herdwick wool can be yarn dyed or, piece dyed maintaining the tweed effect and allowing the kempy character to still show in the finished cloth. Ranges made from these yarns have so far found their way into upholstery, outerwear apparel, accessories, floor coverings and even hand knitting ! For more information about this Herdwick yarn please get in touch with us via our contact us page

Proud to announce the relaunch of Iona Wool/Silk WS94 (Nm 10.5)


We have relaunched one of our previous yarn ranges – IONA WS94 (50/50 Wool/Silk) in 10.5’s Nm. This is a fabulous alternative seasonal yarn available stock supported in 28 vibrant and tonal colour mixtures and is already provide inspiration to designers for knitwear, woven soft furnishings and accessories.   With a soft handle all the shades are available in stock either  as  1/10.5 Nm singles or 2/10.5 Nm two fold.  For more information on these beautiful new products and the rest of the Gardiner Yarns ranges and shades, please visit our Stock Supported Yarns page.

Gardiner Yarns – a Brief History


Evidence has shown that from the early Middle Ages in medieval Britain subsistence wool production was extensive. Spinning and weaving tools were similar to those used by the Romans with fine white wools produced from sheep introduced from the Mediterranean regions alongside coarser indigenous wool breeds.  The 13th & 14th century was an era when trade in wool was the backbone and driving force in the English medieval economy.  The West Yorkshire wool trade grew as the packhorse trade routes developed, and with steep plentiful grassland hills ideal for sheep grazing along with fast flowing rivers used for power and washing combined together to produce the ideal environment for the wool industry development.  Gardiner Yarns’ manufacturing site Albert Mills was established in 1853 as steam-powered woollen mill with the first buildings that included a fireproof multi-storey mill, with dyehouse, washing and sizing room.  Continued development of the site saw warehousing added and an internal end engine boiler house. We are still proud to be manufacturing woollen yarns on the same site today, although with a little more modern machinery.

The Campaign for Wool


Gardiner Yarns, based in the heart of the West Yorkshire textile manufacturing area are proud to support The Campaign for Wool and the global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to raise the awareness to consumers of the benefits offered by wool fibre. We promote many woollen spun stock supported ranges suitable for all weaving, machine and hand knitting end uses. This natural, renewable, totally biodegradable, resilient, breathable fibre is also a thermally efficient, flame and fire retardant insulator that has been used as clothing since the Stone Age. Wool resists the growth of bacteria, is not known to cause allergies, and recently has shown that it actually absorbs volatile organic compounds when used in carpets to assist the localised air quality around the home reducing the potential for asthma attacks. For more information on these beautiful new products and the rest of the Gardiner Yarns ranges and shades, please visit our Stock Supported Yarns page.

The finest spun yarn makes the finest tweed


Tweed is definitely a hot trend

There was a time when tweed was the fabric of choice for the country gent or lady – that heavy, practical fabric that made for an excellent jacket or hat.

Over the years the fabric has been applied in the design output of the top fashion labels with their ultra-fashionable take on country clothing. From Chanel through Burberry, to Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, they have all doffed their respectful, flat caps at Tweed.

Recent times have seen the emergence of Tweed as a trend article in both apparel and accessories and the finer yarns make for versatility of usage.

Yarn colour creates the look

The colours in the yarn mixes make this the ideal fabric for autumn and winter wear with their hues of the countryside; the deep blues, greens and berry tones.

More cutting edge British designers are concentrating their creative efforts on this most adaptable of fabrics. From Timothy Foxx who produce ‘exceptionally eccentric tweed clothing’ to Jaggy Nettle, producing fashion wear including hi-top sneakers in Tweed.
Tweed has long been a fabric of choice because it is hard-wearing, warm, easy to care for and eminently stylish. Finer yarns though have seen the fabric break in to the high street in lighter weight jackets, skirts, suits and the all-important accessories.

There’s no doubt about it:
Exceptional spun yarn makes for exceptionally fine looking Tweed

For more information about the range of spun yarns available from Gardiner Yarns, please see our Stock Supported Yarns page