In addition to supporting our producer flocks, we are passionate about supporting the wool supply chain of the Southwest. Mora Valley Spinning Mill in Mora, New Mexico is the only mill in the U.S. that specializes in processing Navajo-Churro wool. Their machinery is uniquely suited to spinning long staple dual-coated wool and producing the optimal "twist" for weaving. Mora is a registered nonprofit also known as Tapetes de Lana. Tapetes de Lana was created in 1998 as a vocational training program for rural individuals in the art of weaving. The organization continues to operate as a true community-based nonprofit with a focus on economic development, job creation, and cultural preservation.
Mora is in northeastern New Mexico, an area with a rich history connected to several cultures. In the surrounding rural area the economy is depressed, with high rates of poverty and unemployment. Mora Valley Spinning Mill was founded on the belief that rural life can be vibrant and self-sustaining even without large sums of money. They celebrate living simply and holding on to traditions, helping people maintain a connection to their family, community, and ancestral past through art.
Tapetes de Lana is also a weaving gallery, local art center, and factory direct yarn store. They provide training in weaving and offer gallery space for weavers and other artists to sell their work. Their shop is filled with yarns made in the mill with local and regional fibers, in a range of natural and hand-dyed colors.
Mora's Executive Director Joseph Weathers also serves on the Northern New Mexico Workforce Development Board. Mora Valley Spinning Mill is his self-described “baby” and passion in life. Joseph takes great pride in employee development and inspiring self-sufficiency. Mora currently employs 5 individuals including master spinner Daryll Encinias. The Rainbow Fiber project will add 3 new long-term skilled temporary jobs at $15 per hour.
A nonprofit specialty wool business like Mora has faced incredible challenges over the years, further exacerbated by the pandemic. We partnered with Mora because of their expertise with Navajo-Churro wool. But also because we believe helping Mora succeed helps the entire community of fiber producers and artists in the Southwest.