Satu and Sami Kumpulainen about the Wonders of Wool from heritage breeds in Finland
Play • 46 min

Satu and Sami Kumpulainen are siblings from Sievi in Ostrobothnia, Finland, who have dedicated their lives to sheep and wool. Together, they run the Isokummun farm and wool mill, which produces high quality yarn from the heritage breeds, Finnsheep and Kainuugrey. There are very few sheep farms focused on wool production in Finland simply because it is very hard to run this type of business—despite domestic wool being in high demand. Finland’s entry to the EU in 1995, and the lack of policies that would support domestic wool production, have left the country with a lack of infrastructure and know-how about the wool care for domestic sheep breeds. Due to this, most wool from sheep farms in Finland is considered a waste product and the indigenous Finnish breeds with high quality wool are in danger of going extinct. This is something that Satu and Sami want to change. Through the farm and mill operations at Isokummun, the Kumpulainen siblings aim to revitalize domestic wool production from heritage breeds in an ethically sound and environmentally friendly way. The Kumpulainens’ ethos is about fostering a respect for the indigenous Finnish sheep breeds and the incredible quality wool that these sheep can give us—if we care for them properly. In our conversation, we talk about what's so special about Finnish sheep breeds, the challenges sheep farmers have in Finland, and the rocky road taken by wool and yarn before it arrives to the shops.

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