After reading 'Home - Spun in Ecuador' by Erica Johnston the Justice league sequenced the process of "How wool becomes a jersey.
How wool becomes a Jersey
In Ecuador families make money by turning ordinary wool into bright colourful jerseys. These families work very hard to make these jerseys but do not make much profit. Making a jersey takes many steps.
Buying the wool - Kalani
The villagers in Ecuador are very poor, so they can’t raise their own sheep to make wool. The villagers don’t have enough land for the sheep to survive. However what the villagers do to get their wool is walk up to the mountains and purchase the wool from the sheep farmers who have all the wool they need to make the jerseys.
Washing the wool - Skye
Next the villagers have to wash their wool. An important mix gets tipped over the wool. The villagers wash the wool in the local pond. They use the local pond for a few things like cooking and drinking water this is why most children die before they reach the age of five.
Carding the wool - Sherlyn
Now the villagers have to card the wool. Card the wool means to get rid of seeds, grass and tangles that might have been in the sheep’s wool. The villagers card the wool by pulling the wool through the spikes that are on wooden bats. After the wool has been rolled off the bats, it is time to spin the wool.
Spinning the wool - Next the wool is spun. People in Ecuador use spinning wheels that are very different to the ones in New Zealand. The spinning wheel that is used in the village has a large bamboo wheel and a spindle that teases the wool into long strands ready for knitting.
Dyeing the wool - Arav
After the wool is spun it is dyed. The wool is dyed very bright colours. After it has been dyed it has to be dried on long lines. The families now sell the dyed wool to another family. The family who dyed the wool don’t make much profit only about 60 cents per kg of wool.
Knitting the wool - Eventually the clean, dyed wool is bought by a family that knits the wool into colourful jerseys. The knitting is done by families (even the children). Some children as young as six can spend hours knitting jerseys. The family don’t have patterns to follow so must learn the patterns off by heart.
Selling to tourists- Chantelle
The finished jerseys are then sold to tourists that have come to see Ecuador. The jerseys are bought as a souvenir to take back to their countries or just to consumers who want a woolly jersey for freezing cold days and nights.
Conclusion - Chantelle
Overall the villagers in Ecuador do not earn much profit from all their hard work. The villagers do not earn enough money to buy more land so they could raise their own sheep, which would make it easier to make more money.
We hope in the future that all the hard work that the villagers do to make jerseys earns them more money. If the villagers had more money they could improve their daily lives and clean the local pond, so that their children can live longer lives. This could happen if tourists gave more money for the jerseys or if countries like New Zealand imported the jerseys and sold them before sending the money directly to the villagers.