Woolscapes: Re-Connecting Nova Scotian Agriculture and Craft
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Wool is a natural, renewable and biodegradable resource. It is used by the sheep to protect them from the elements; a natural form of architecture. Its properties as a thermally and acoustically insulating, water resistant, fire retardant, and volatile absorbing material make it ideal for the built environment. Today in the industry of sheep farming, wool is considering a waste material as meat is the main output. In recent decades Nova Scotia's farm revenues have been decreasing, and wool has become a further expense for farmers as it does not stop growing and needs to be shorn. Since the invention of petroleum based synthetic fibres, wool as a fibre for the textile industry has been displaces. While this was happening, textile production was concentrating in developing countries, creating a market that was too competitive for production, manufacturing and product use is reflected in a culture that does not understand materials. This thesis explores the material qualities of wool, aiming to re-connect the agricultural resources of the wool industry with craft and other place based manufacturing to inform and invent new forms of architecture and architectural products.