Dehesa de Barrera
Flock: Antonio Egea Colás
100% Spanish Merino Wool
When you hold a skein of Dehesa de Barrera you have more than a beautiful yarn in your hands, you hold a connection to the history of Merino wool reaching back centuries to its Spanish heritage.
Dehesa de Barrea is a single origin, 100% Spanish Merino wool from heritage sheep with a lineage tracing back 200 years. It is with this flock we can reach even further back in history, to the Middle Ages and the development of the Merino breed in Spain. Prized for the superior strength and softness of their wool, Merino sheep were considered a national treasure and were fiercely protected.
To honor the legacy of this historic breed, Wooldreamers has partnered with rancher Antonio Egea Colas to create Dehesa de Barrera, “the best yarn that has ever been made in Spain with Spanish wool”.
Located in Sierra de San Pedro, the Dehesa de Barrera ranch is the namesake of our first collection and the home of Antonio’s centuries-old flock. Acquired by his family in 1836, their stewardship of the Merino sheep and the lands they graze on is a model for compassionate ranching practices that ensure a high quality of life for the sheep and result in superior wool fibers.
The qualities that make Dehesa de Barrera so special go beyond the look and feel of the fiber; every step of production from raising the wool, to processing and spinning the fiber into yarn is done with the utmost care for the animals and environment. The result is a yarn that not only supports historic farming practices, it also marks the beginning of new possibilities for the cultivation of heritage wools in Spain.
The skein before you is a link to the history of Spanish Merino and a key to the future of sustainable textile practices around the world!
Livestock: The Starting Point
For Wooldreamers’ first collection, we wanted to honor the history of the Dehesa de Barrera ranch and its efforts in preserving the heritage of Spanish Merino. 🔝 We are so inspired by the history of this ranch and their dedication to producing the finest merino possible, it’s an honor to share Dehesa de Barrera’s wool with the world.
At 96 years old, Antonio Egea Colas is the current steward of the Dehesa de Barrera legacy. His great-great-grandfather acquired the ranch in 1836 after a redistribution of monastic lands called the Mendizabal Confiscation, and the family has been raising merino ever since. With generations of experience informing his practices, Antonio is an expert in all things Spanish Merino and is a fixture on livestock judging panels and participates in national efforts to elevate the value of Spanish Merino. 😍
Antonio often remarks that “in the past they sent you to war with a weapon and a woolen blanket” invoking the life sustaining powers of wool in even the most dire of circumstances. His faith in the value of this incredible resource has led him to dedicate his life to the preservation of Spanish Merino.
Antonio’s devotion to his flock is reflected in the strength and fineness of the fibers his sheep produce; the merino’s wool is greatly affected by their quality of life and his sheep are living the dream! 🐑🐑 The sheep of Dehesa de Barrera graze freely on the ranch’s lands tucked in the Sierra de San Pedro, fulfilling an integral role in a complex ecological system maintained by responsible ranching practices.
🔗 Through this collaboration with Wooldreamers, Antonio hopes to encourage more ranchers to embrace wool raising practices and reinvigorate the Spanish wool market!
"You are what you eat"
🔆 A critical factor in the analysis of a wool’s quality is the overall welfare of the sheep themselves. Merino are sensitive creatures and their wool is directly impacted by nutrition and stress levels.
When setting out to find ranches to partner with, we intentionally sought out flocks that were allowed to graze out in nature, knowing that these sheep would yield a higher quality fiber for our yarn.
Our first visit to Dehesa de Barrera made it clear that this was exactly the type of ranch we were looking for. Antonio’s sheep are able to move freely on his extensive land and they can be seen relaxing and enjoying the shade as they gather beneath the ancient holm oak trees scattered throughout the property.
The many benefits of the flock’s autonomy include the enrichment of the land through fertilization and seed distribution as the sheep graze across the pasture. This continuous source of nutrients and seeds supports hearty vegetation for the sheep to graze on, completing the cycle of a harmonious ecosystem. In this style of ranching, the health of the land is just as vital as the health of the sheep, and great care is taken in the maintenance of the pasture.
✅ Improves herbaceous pastures.
✅ It transports and provides nutrients thus increasing the fertility of the soil.
✅ Species disperser
The incredible fiber produced by the sheep raised in this environment ensures the preservation of the sheep and the lands they inhabit for generations to come!
The Revaluation of Spanish Merino
Wooldreamers aims to elevate the production of Spanish Merino and other heritage breeds and we know that supporting the ranches working sustain these practices is key for the future of Spanish raised wools.
We place a high value on these fibers and pay our partner ranches a fair price for their wool which allows them to sustain their flocks. As the strength of this community grows so will the prevalence of high quality wools raised in Spain.
The Wooldreamers philosophy begins with the support of ranchers, and is joined by the desire to create a product developed, raised, and produced entirely in Spain. A completely Spanish yarn to reintroduce the world to Spanish Merino wool.
We are so excited to begin this journey and we hope you join us on the road to new possibilities for heritage wools!
A Factory with a lot of History: The story of our mill as told by Ramon Cobo, Wooldreamers founder.
Clip clop, clip clop’, this sound carries my youthful father and his uncle to and from an old natural water source in Saona. With the help of a mule, they brought a carriage packed with wicker baskets filled with freshly sheared wool to clean in the water. Once the wool was cleaned they returned to the mill where it was then spun and woven into blankets.
The mill belonged to my father’s uncle. My father, who is now 73 years old, tells of days when the mill would produce hundreds of blankets and the sound of the factory was the background music of his youth.
Eventually, the blanket factory was passed from his uncle to my grandfather and my father was taught everything he needed to run the mill. He is well known in our community for the work he’s done with his family’s mill and its enduring success.
A success that brings us to the present day and I find myself as the fourth generation to carry my family’s legacy, a thought that makes my hair stand on end. To share in this history is so gratifying as I learn from my father, my mentor, through stories told with a great passion for our work.
Wooldreamers was started as the next chapter of a family’s passion to uphold the importance of wool in Spanish history. I know that the previous generations would be proud of our first collection, Dehesa de Barrera, a yarn made with so much love. A love that we will carry through everything Wooldreamers makes as we connect ancestral craftwork.
🏠 🥰 🐑
Raised and Spun in Spain
“Being able to produce a quality yarn that goes from the sheep to your hands and that is also made entirely in Spain, sets us apart and makes us proud.” 👌🏽 😇 🥰
🔅 One of the founding principles of Wooldreamers was to introduce a deeper sense of connection between material and maker in a market where the majority of yarn is of an unknown origin and produced on a mass scale.
Thanks to our partnerships with ranchers and our ability to produce the yarn ourselves, our products are fully traceable at every step. We share the stories of where our wool is raised and processed because we honor the work that has been dedicated to the making of something truly special.
Sustainable and Ecological
As you surely know, unlike artificial fibers, wool is a 100% renewable and biodegradable fiber. Wooldreamers is proud to exclusively use natural fibers and we take the sustainability of our wool even further in our production.
Wooldreamers is unique in that our yarn is produced in a facility capable of transforming raw wool into ready-to-knit yarn all under one roof. We are currently the only company in Spain with this capability and one of only a few such facilities worldwide.
Along with our unique production capabilities, much of the energy used in our manufacturing is derived from renewable sources. Additionally, our OEKOTEX Standard 100 certificate guarantees the cleaning of our wool is carried out without substances harmful to people’s health.
100% Spanish Merino Yarn
As a product meant to inspire change in the landscape of Spanish wool, we knew the quality of the fiber had to be the absolute best in the country, and we were fortunate enough to get to work with Antonio Egea and his incredible wool. We also knew that it had to be a yarn people were excited to work with, and for this we consulted with knitters and crocheters to develop a collection makers of all kinds would be excited to use.
Dehesa de Barrera is available in fingering and DK weights and comes in a range of eleven colors in a palette inspired by the Spanish countryside compiled by knitwear designer Lucia Ruiz de Aguirre.
Dehesa de Barrera: 100% Spanish Merino Wool
Fingering – 410m / 100g – 448yds / 3.5oz
- 6.5-8 Stitches per inch. Suggested needle: 2¾-3½ mm, US 2-4
DK – 240m / 100g – 262yds / 3.5oz
- 6-4.5 Stitches per inch. Suggested needle: 3¾-4½ mm, US 5-7
We would like to thank Luisa for her support for this project from the very beginning. Without her guidance, this would have been a much more complicated endeavor. Thank you for opening the doors of this wooly world to us!
More than a Yarn
Dehesa de Barrera is no ordinary yarn, this is a yarn that is created with its roots in history and its growth towards a new day in textile practices. A yarn made to empower the ranchers working tirelessly to conserve heritage breeds and traditional farming techniques. And most importantly, Dehesa de Barrera is a yarn made to inspire makers to create beautiful items that will last a lifetime.
Our aim is to be different in order to value what we have. In short, a yarn which conveys values:
✅ Fair Market.
✅ Revaluation of Spanish wool.
✅ We collaborate with people with disabilities
✅ Ecological thread with OEKOTEX Standard 100 certificate.
✅ Traceability 100% guaranteed. From the sheep to your hands
✅ We minimize carbon emissions compared to other yarns.
Many are the factors we take into account and we want to claim.
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