Wagtail Yarns

Wagtail Yarns

From 1979, when the first Angora goat was purchased, the family passion for Angora goats has carried on through to the present day, with almost 2,000 goats reared and cared for at Wagtail Yarns farm.  The journey from the past to the present has been a long, and at times challenging one, however one that Betty, Kevin and Gaylene have been through together, and one that has taken them across continents in a bid to produce some of the finest pure Kid Mohair in the world.

Wagtail Yarns is an amalgamation of two past family farms and businesses, where the Angora goats were initially bought to control scrub growth.  As the herd grew, the family identified an opportunity to add value to the goats and so in 1986, they started to spin and process the mohair with some outside involvement, ready to be knitted at the farm into warm bulky durable mohair garments.   Not long after, a decision was taken to completely process the fibre on the farm, cutting out any third party involvement – giving them greater control over the quality of production.  The result from deciding to do it all themselves is, apart from all the other yarns, a very fine soft durable laceweight 100% (definitely no synthetic) kid mohair yarn that is sought after around the world. 

In 1995, Wagtail Yarns was registered as a new business run between Betty, Kevin and Gaylene in Childers, Queensland taking over from the previous business of Wallum Yarns.  In early 1995, the three were busy sourcing further equipment and machinery from all over the world to enhance their processing capabilities.

Machinery was purchased and imported from England, South Africa, Germany, Italy and the US – but not without complication.

Due to certain elements of the machinery being wood and because of Australia’s strict importation policies, the team found themselves at a sticking point when the machinery was quarantined by the authorities in Canberra, at a Brisbane quarantine facility, even though the machinery had been fumigated at Southampton to Australian Quarantine Standards.  It was only after 3 weeks of relentless negotiation that an agreement was made with the authorities, granting the team access to the machinery to dismantle and clean each-and-every part and prepare it to be re-fumigated – avoiding all the wooden parts of the machinery being burnt and the rest being treated with soda-ash.

Now with the machinery in pieces and back at the farm, the team had the mammoth task of reassembling it all, with the aid of photographs of the machinery in its completed state and numbers written on the side of certain parts – “…it was like piecing together a big Meccano set”, and once each machine had been put back together, it was slowly manoeuvred into place, using a jack and steel rods underneath it.