Learn About Winter Wool at Ardenwood Historic Farm

January 1, 2024

Whether your winter activities take you outside or keep you in, reach for some wonderful wool to keep you warm. Cooler temperatures and rainy days populate the winter months urging us to grab sweaters, scarves, hats, and blankets. And it’s no wonder with the almost magical properties wool has that make it such a desirable fiber. The outside layer repels water to keep you dry when it is wet outside, but the inner core can absorb a lot of moisture to help wick sweat and odor away from the skin. This ability to hold moisture also makes it naturally flame-resistant.

These are not new discoveries as humans have been using sheep wool for over ten thousand years. It is very likely that the first fabric made by humans was created with wool! From ancient Sumerians to ancient Greeks, medieval royalty and peasants to turn-of-the-20th-century farm workers at Ardenwood, wool has played a large part in clothing humans throughout history.

So go ahead and don that felted hat, slip on some knitted socks, wrap that woven scarf around your neck, and bundle up under a crocheted blanket while you take part in ten thousand years of history in-the-making and enjoy some wonderful wool.

Want to learn more about wool and the sheep who share it with us? Come visit the farm for some woolly programs this winter and come see our sheep get their annual haircut at our spring Sheep Shearing Day!

For a complete list of Ardenwood programs, visit us online. For information, visit www.ebparks.org/calendar and search “Ardenwood” or call (510) 544-2797.


Come check out our fluffy fleece and learn how we can transform sheep’s special fur into woolly wonders. – Jan 1 (Mon), 11:30am-12:30pm

Listen to a yarn or two about our fleecy friends, give them a quick hello, and try your hand at using different tools to brush out some wool. – Feb 11 (Sun), 11am-noon

Have some good, clean fun as we learn how felt is made from sheep’s wool, and then make a felt toy to take home. – Feb 17 (Sat), 11am-noon

Take home an Ardenwood tradition! Use some wool from our sheep here at the farm and make your own woolly lamb to take with you. – Feb 25 (Sun), 11am-noon

Check for eggs and feed the livestock. Learn all the animals’ favorite foods as we help tuck them in for the evening. Meet at the Granary. – Thursday-Sunday, 3pm

Sheep in grassy pen