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John Smedley: The Black Sheep

Wool Week was set up in 2010 by The Campaign for Wool, in a global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, in order to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural, renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by the fibre.

John Smedley is delighted to launch ‘The Black Sheep x John Smedley’, a four piece assemblage offering a unique variation to their traditional garments in celebration of this event.

The idea behind the ‘Black Sheep Collection’ began when they started their initial research behind the ‘The Composition of Knit’, the new AW17 collection which celebrates nature and the British Countryside.

John Smedley found black sheep’s wool is in itself, a rarity as sadly many black sheep are culled from herds for fear that they will contaminate the majority of white fleeced sheep. The black sheep’s wool is also coarser and cannot be dyed any other shade than black, which makes it commercially unviable and relatively impractical to manufacturers making these sheep even rarer.

The fibre is blended with cashmere to remove any coarseness when worn against the skin, whilst the naturally beautiful colours of the wool are beautifully brought out in the garments as a result of the fleece not being over dyed.

Each yarn has a slightly different colouration reflecting how the sunlight has altered the individual sheep. This results in a blend of orange, brown, charcoal and black shades, each unique to the individual sweater.

Speaking about the collection, Jess McGuire-Dudley, Marketing & Design Director said:

“The Black Sheep represents something in all of us: a strive for individuality, a desire to be different, and with this collection we're delighted to have been able to showcase this and celebrate a beautiful natural fibre. The premise of the collection is not only unique , but each single garment reflects the life of each individual black sheep, replicating the weather and conditions the sheep experienced into unique colour palattes. ”

Each design has a close-knit to enhance the warming qualities of the wool without impairing its breathability, creating a garment perfect to wear in any climate.

The new collection has been expertly designed in an oversized cocoon shape, intended to cosily envelop the wearer during the harsh winter months, providing a nod to farmer garments of old. Black sheep wool’s natural properties are perfect for outdoor life providing warmth, comfort, durability, strength and beauty to your seasonal wardrobe.

The Black Sheep x John Smedley Collection is available to buy here:


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