Farming is a lifelong passion for Francis Chester.  Born in Brooklyn, he moved to Long Island, NY as soon as he could and learned about vegetable gardening, how to milk goats, and how to care for chickens.  He soon began selling the farm products he helped produce door-to-door, and opened a successful farm stand in Roslyn Heights.  He acquired sheep and his love for sheep farming was born.

In 1968, Francis and his wife Diane sold their farm in Mill Neck, New York and  moved to Virginia where they and their children have continued to farm.

Cestari Sheep and Wool Company is a small family-owned and operated American manufacturer of knitting and crocheting yarn.  We have a farm in Augusta County, Virginia where we raise sheep for wool that we use in our yarn.  We also source wool from reputable ranchers throughout the United States.  All of our sheep and wool products are always grown and processed in the United States.  Our cotton products are grown and processed exclusively in Virginia.

Cestari wool is washed using a scouring process that keeps natural lanolin in the yarn and maintains the natural bounce and texture of the wool.  We prefer our scouring process to the more contemporary carbonizing process because a carbonizing acid bath, done overseas, would burn out the vegetable matter, leaving the wool very clean but removing the lanolin and leaving the wool with less bounce and changing the original texture.  Sometimes specks of easily removable hay or straw remain in our yarn; owner Francis Chester likes to say that if you put his yarn to your ears, you can almost hear the sounds of life within it.

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