EcoWool

Woolgatherer Carding Mill

About Woolgatherer Carding Mill

Patrick's sheep

Patrick Holland established the Woolgatherer Carding Mill in 1999 after a full life of exploring all types of pursuits that had little to do with wool. His love for animals led him to acquire five sheep dogs. Given his dogs' desires to herd and protect, Patrick decided that it might be enjoyable for him to move to the country to become a shepherd. He ended up in the Shasta Valley where he began his new career raising sheep and training sheep dogs.

When his flocks started to produce wool, Patrick was surprised by how difficult it was to find someone to purchase wool at a reasonable price. He quickly realized that it would be nearly impossible to make a living selling his wool at the prices commonly offered, so he began to explore new and creative markets for wool that might be more profitable.

Around this same time, Patrick was introduced to Eliana Jantz, owner and founder of Shepherd's Dream LLC. Shepherd's Dream was in its formative years and was searching for high-quality carded wool batting for its line of natural bedding products. However, few wool-batting processors existed that specialized in very high-quality batting. Patrick's hope for a better wool market and this potential for a loyal customer inspired Patrick to assemble a wool mill in the Shasta Valley. Always up to a challenge, Patrick located a recently closed wool carding mill in Oregon and purchased their equipment. He arranged for the disassembly, transport of 30,000 lbs of antique machinery and located an empty warehouse in Montague, CA, where the mill would be re-assembled.

Patrick's dog

Patrick's antique carding mill is unique in that it combs wool more thoroughly than most existing mills. This extra combing creates cleaner and fluffier wool batting, resulting in the perfect fill material for natural bedding products. In 2003, Patrick was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer and passed on six months later on Father's Day. Patrick was an incredible man with great passion who brought joy and inspiration to many people's lives.

Nathon Thill was a close friend of Patrick's and began to assist with the mill's operations after Patrick's passing. Nathon had been working closely with Shepherd's Dream and quickly learned the business of wool carding. He was asked to purchase the mill by Patrick's wife and given his respect and admiration for Patrick and his vision, Nathon agreed to take over the company. With great dedication and ingenuity, Nathon slowly turned the Woolgatherer Carding Mill into a successful company that is currently one of few wool mills running in the USA. Woolgatherer Carding Mill continues to be a leader in pushing the US wool industry towards a more sustainable and creative future.