What do I touch when I touch my Merino wool sweater? This thesis is an anthropological response to this question. Through ethnographic details on woolwork on the South American grasslands, it describes fibre formations where wool turns into a part of larger wholes.
A small piece of wool conveys much more than we may first think: colonialism, global exchange, international standardizations, artistic practices, laboratory science, the dynamics of regional ecosystems, birds in danger of extinction, indigenous identities, industrial manufacturing, farmers’ lives, and artisan crafting – this can be illuminated through ethnographic fieldwork.
This thesis revolves around wool but also around anthropological debates on fieldwork methodologies when analyzing relations between people, things, and natures.