University of Glasgow creates its own wool

The University of Glasgow has created its own brand of knitting yarn made with wool from sheep reared on its own farm, it was announced today (Friday 16 November 2018)

Cochno Wool is a luxurious wool in four colours – natural (un-dyed), University blue, Thistle pink and Slate grey – which will be sold through the University shop.

The idea is the brainchild of academics Professor Lynn Abrams and Dr Marina Moskowitz – both keen knitters and historians of Scottish knitted textiles.

Professor Abrams, Head of the School of School of Humanities | Sgoil nan Daonnachdan at the University of Glasgow, said: “Knitted textiles are an important and very recognisable part of Scotland’s heritage – think Fair Isle jumpers and Sanquhar gloves and the knitwear factories of the Borders – but they also make a significant contribution to the Scottish economy.

“Knitting is also back in fashion as part of the new interest, particularly amongst younger generations, in textile crafts. Our knitting wool is locally grown, meeting the desire amongst makers for materials with traceable provenance.”

The historians were inspired by their project on Scottish knitted textiles, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The project - Knitting in the Round; Hand-Knitted Textiles and the Economies of Craft in Scotland - has focused on themes of sustainability, creativity and authenticity and has collaborated with heritage organisations, knitwear designers and makers to better understand the historical antecedents of today’s Scottish knitwear revival.

A photo of a hand holding a ball of Cochno wool created by sheep from University of Glasgow sheep

The wool, which is single-origin double-knit and worsted-spun, was sourced from the Scotch Mule sheep flock at the University’s Cochno Farm.

In June last year, the University flock were sheared; then the fleeces were sent to the Natural Fibre Company for processing – cleaning, carding, spinning and dying - in September.

The venture has been part-funded by the University’s Chancellor’s Fund. The ball band design which features the Cochno Stone, a Neolithic stone with cup marks located in the vicinity of the farm near Clydebank, was designed by Fraser Rowan, the College of Arts Impact Manager.


The branding for Cochno Wool created from the fleeces of University of Glasgow sheep.


A pattern book is also in the pipeline, with designers across Scotland contributing their designs for a range of knitted items inspired by the architecture of the University of Glasgow.

Cochno Farm and Research Centre:  the University of Glasgow purchased the estate in 1954 and today Cochno Farm and Research Centre extends to approximately 850 acres. This facility plays a key role in the delivery of core teaching and research activities of the School of Veterinary Medicine, part of the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences.

Information on Cochno’s rock-art, which inspired the branding on the wool, and the excavation work of Dr Kenny Brophy at the University of Glasgow, can be found here -


Link to buy Cochno Wool

Learn more about the University’s Knitting in the Round; Hand-Knitted Textiles and the Economies of Craft in Scotland

Twitter - UofGknitting and Knitting in the Round Flickr

First published: 16 November 2018