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Nordt Family Farm

American Made Since 2005

Dianne Nordt

Charles City, Virginia
I raise a flock of white and colored Merino sheep on my farm in Charles City, Virginia and use the fine fleece to hand weave Merino wool blankets
Crafts,

Tell us about your business.

In college I studied design but fell in love with the craft of weaving and the slow and grounded lifestyle it represents. I set out to find the line where good design and fine craftsmanship meet. From the rich soil and the green grass, the sheep produce the finest wool. I take good care of my flock. And when it's time to shear in the spring, the yearly cycle of wool growth is spun into yarn at a mill. I then hand dye the yarn using natural plant dyes such as indigo, osage, and black walnut. I use the hand dyed yarn together with natural browns, grays, and white to design and hand weave wool blankets on a loom. Going forward I hope to see my designs evolve. I also have an interest in permaculture as it relates to sheep farming. So learning more about energy efficiency in farming practices is important to me as well.

What makes your business stand out?

My weaving business is unique because I produce my own wool and I design contemporary pieces for the home using traditional, slow methods. With farmland disappearing and sheep farming and wool production in the US in decline, I hope to represent a niche industry. I would like to see a revival of interest in cottage industry weaving. I hope to show that looms are not museum artifacts but important and viable tools in the marketplace of valued goods.

What's the best business advice you've received?

"Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time." - Max Ehrmann

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