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montana green insulation

Making Podcast Woolful Podcast

Episode 43: Thayne Mackey – Montana, wool insulation, bulletproof wool, and Brookside Woolen Mill

December 8, 2015


Sponsor:  Brooklyn General Store was created in 2002 and is owned and operated by Catherine Clark. Tucked away on a sweet block West of the Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill neighborhoods, Brooklyn General Store is the enchanting fiber and textile emporium we all dream of. Dreams full of wooly goodness, yards and yards of fabric, felt, dyes, patterns, tools, and handmade gifts. A little old and a little new…a classic general store for the maker who loves to make their own everything. With a charming studio, the shop hosts a variety of wonderful classes taught by special folks including Cal Patch, Nguyen Le, Heather Love and many more. With it’s floor to ceiling shelves, old rolling ladders, and old wood floors, it feels as though you’ve stepped into a wooly wonderland…I so wish I lived closer and could adopt this shop as my own lys, but thankfully they have an online shop filled to the brim with all of their fiber and sewing goods and gifts. So if you’re in the Brooklyn area or just passing through, visit Brooklyn General Store in person and find them online at


Fiber folk: We’re all very familiar with the wool in the fiber arts, but something that’s far less known is it’s use in building materials, including insulation. What’s extra neat about wool insulation is that it often times uses wool that would be of little or no value in the yarn world and therefore making the best use out of this fiber we love so much. Thayne Mackey and his family are doing something pretty wonderful at Montana Green Insulation and I’m excited for you to hear more. You can find Thayne at and on Facebook as Brookside Woolen Mill.






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Sponsor: Montana Green Insulation is located in Malta, Montana and is a family run operation, by today’s guest Thayne Mackey, his wife and two children. In 2009 Thayne and his family downsized their farm and started Brookside Woolen Mill where they create their wool insulation product. They run an organic wool processing operation, with high efficiency heating systems, solar water heaters, recycling and settling ponds for waste water, bio-degradable soaps and eco-friendly disposal systems for the vegetable wastes produced by sheep. Their woolen products include Montana Green Sheep Wool Insulation, Reclamation and Revegetation Mats, and Bio-wix wattles and booms for petroleum spills on land and in water. We’re using the wool insulation for our yurt platform and decided to do so because of the incredible properties of wool insulation and it’s R-value. I hope you’ll consider learning more about wool insulation and using it for your next building project. Find Montana Green Insulation at


Update: As many of you know, we recently moved from San Francisco to our ranch in North Idaho where we’re in the final stages of building our yurt home. Over the past couple of years we’ve been doing a lot of research on what materials we wanted to use for various parts of the process, specifically insulation. Because of our northern climate, extra insulation is a must. There are lots of insulation options, but of course our heart was set on using wool insulation after learning more about it’s obvious benefits and R-Value. After reaching out and learning about Thayne Mackey’s operation at Montana Green Insulation we decided on 500lbs of loose fill insulation which we’ll be using in our platform flooring. The delivery is set to arrive early next week and we’ll be posting lots of photos and info on this process as it’s new to us and there really isn’t a whole lot of information out there on on installation. So stay tuned, we’re super excited to get our floor insulated and move in!


Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaways are, appaloosa13 you’ve won the Dottie Angel frock pattern, Claire you’ve won 2 skeins of the Moeke Merino, and Analiese, you’ve won a Woolful Sheep Breed Calendar. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Taproot Magazine and Boho Chic Fiber Co and they’re giving away the most recent issue of Taproot, Shelter and two gorgeous skeins of handspun Polwarth and Mohair and Silk fingering yarn along with Annie Lupton’s Groh Shawl pattern. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on today’s episode’s blog post.



Music by Jónsi.