Board of Directors

Roberto Chavez
Los Cordovas, NM

D. Y. Begay
Vice President
Tselani, Chinle, AZ

Molly Manzanares
Tierra Amarilla, NM

Executive Director
Robin Collier

HC78 Box 10731, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557

Tierra Wools

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Natural Dyes

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Center for Land Grant Studies

Millicent Rodgers Museum

UNM Taos

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McCune Charitable Foundation

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Wool Traditions

Bringing the sheep home in the fall
Manzanares flock - Robin Collier photo

A Non-Profit Educational Center
for Sustainable Agriculture

Demonstration Flocks & Gardens
OrganicWool, Yarn and Natural Dyes
Wool Washing, Spinning & Natural Dyeing
Living Traditions of the Upper Rio Grande,
Pecos & Colorado River Watersheds

Wool Traditions Center.

The plan to seek 10 - 15 acres of land for our permanent center, including a space for teaching and working with youth on projects about land, water & culture, is now on hold. Rising land cost, and encroachment by real estate development on to agricultural lands have made find a center location difficult.

Wool Scouring Train has Been Sold

Because no location could be found for the Center, plans for the spinning mill are on hold. Contact Robin Collier at for more information.

Wool Traditions is a non-profit formed to buy wool from local sheep growers to produce affordable wool yarn for weavers of the Southwest, and to create an educational center to maintain the connections between land, water, sustainable agriculture and the living cultural traditions of the Hispanic, Pueblo and Diné (Navajo) communities.

Wool Traditions' origins come from experience over last two decades producing yarn from local sheep for weavers. From this work, it has become clear there is a need to produce larger spins of yarn in order to lower the cost and make it more competitive with imported yarns.

In both the Diné and Hispanic weaving communities, weavers are less and less using yarn made from local wool and instead buying commercially dyed yarns made from imported wools. At the same time local sheep growers have been paid less and less for both their lamb and wool, causing many to quit raising sheep. Wool Traditions' purpose is to restore the connection between weaver and grower, which is the foundation of weaving traditions in the Southwest.

Taos Center
Wool Traditions' plan was to establish a wool processing facility in the Taos area providing organic wool washing, spinning and natural dyeing. Included will be a retail space to sell naturally dyed yarn and weavings made from local wools. Educational exhibits will tell the story of the process from sheep raising to finished weaving. Individual weavers using local yarn will be featured with photos and directions of how to visit and/or buy weavings from them.

Board Members DY Begay, Geoff Bryce, Molly Manzanares. Not pictured: Roberto Chavez who was irrigating his fields!

In addition, the space would have allowed local groups working to conserve agriculture, such as the Taos Valley Acequia Association (TVAA), to present exhibits about the importance of agriculture to the whole community, educating the public about acequias and other traditional customs of land and water use, and the ecological importance of acequias, grazing lands, organic & sustainable agriculture. The Center would have facilitated the production of web, print, video & radio pieces to tell this story to the public.

The facility would have included irrigated land, with grazing pasture for a small herd of sheep and other livestock, and a community garden demonstrating local crops. A constructed wetland would have recycled wool washing and dye rinse water.

Collaboration & Fundraising
Wool Traditions plans to continue to work with Cultural Energy, the Taos Land Trust, the Taos Valley Acequia Association, the Center for Land Grant Studies, The Oñate Center, Tierra Wools,Taos Historic Museums, The Taos Historic Society, The Millicent Rodgers Museum, The Taos Chamber of Commerce and University of New Mexico Taos and other community organizations to continue to develop its educational program.

Wool Traditions educational out reach within the community, have resulted in the producion of a series of radio programs and exhibits on the acequias and agriculture in conjunction with Cutural Energy, KRZA Radio, KTAO Radio, TVAA and the NM Acequia Association.

More News
In October, 2003 we received a grant from the McCune Charitable Foundation to train 4 high school students to document an acequia in Taos with audio recordings, writing and photographs. The finished works will be broadcast on public radio stations and exhibited in the community. We still need to raise about $10,000 to fully fund this project, but the grant will fund purchase of equipment and to begin the training. To contribute to this project, contact Robin Collier, or become a member online!

On July 7, 2003 Wool Traditions purchased the Trujillo Wool Mill in Chamita, NM. We will soon begin producing weaving & knitting yarn from local wool at this 120 spindle mill. This woolen system mill will be moved to Taos when our Center is funded & built.

On June 9th, 2003, Wool Traditions received an anonymous donation of $40,000 toward our land purchase & programs. We are very grateful for this important gift which begins our fund raising campaign for our Center in Taos!

We pursued many different locations, but so far have been unable to find a affordable home for our wool center. At this point we have suspended operations, until a location can be found.

Executive Director, Robin Collier, HC78 Box 10731, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557

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