Hello and thanks for visiting!
My name is Julia Billings. With a background in horticulture and forever something on my knitting needles, woollenflower is where I explore how plants and textiles meet in natural dyeing and botanically-inspired knitted colourwork. I currently live and work in Glasgow, Scotland, but originally hail from Melbourne, Australia.
Woollenflower yarns are made from high-quality natural fibres, such as wool, alpaca, linen and kid mohair, and dyed with plants collected around my neighbourhood in Glasgow, food waste and sustainably-sourced raw plant material and dye extracts. I use plants tested by time for fastness but these soft shades, like all natural dyes, may change and develop over time, a quality valued by many cultures. I am very happy to offer yarn support to independent textile designers, especially those with less access to resources, visibility or support, and to work together on colourways, kits and other ideas... I welcome anyone interested in working together to get in touch to see if we make a good match.
I make small runs of pouches from wool fabrics, reclaimed from worn-out Harris tweed jackets and other garments, lengths of vintage tweed and upholsters offcuts, collected both in Australia and here in Scotland. The number of pouches in each run is defined by the source of fabric used; it may include only 1 or as many as 10, but very rarely more. These pouches were originally intended as knitting tool pouches but function beautifully to store any treasures you might like to carry with you.
I also make woollen accessories on a hand-operated, vintage knitting machine. I work with yarns made from 100% lambswool and spun in Scotland and the EU in rich, soft and earthy colours. Patterning is inspired by the botanical world and many of the motifs I use are sourced or expanded from ethnic handknitting traditions.
Although I use a hand-operated knitting machine to knit the fabric for my knits, I consider my products to be hand-crafted: I put great care and time into dyeing so that colours last and develop with time, hand-seaming my knits to ensure perfect pattern-matching and unpicking jackets in order to reclaim as much fabric as possible. All products are carefully pressed for a lovely finish. I hope that you get as much joy from using them as I get from making them...
I update the shop every month or so and announce the update 24 hours beforehand on my blog and Instagram and via my monthly newsletter which you can subscribe to through my blog. Please follow me to keep abreast with what's coming to the shop!
I'm very happy to take custom orders and to collaborate on colour or pattern- just drop me a line...