Jill Gully started Outback Fibers in 1994, initially under the name The Wool Shed. However, her interest in felt making goes back to the late 1980's when her family was living in Australia. Jill's stepmother introduced her to the craft of feltmaking, and as a competent seamstress, Jill was hooked on the concept of making her own fabric from the high-quality merino wool that is so readily available in Australia.
Returning to Texas in 1989 with a large box of wool and supplies, she joined a fiber group in Texas and was one of the very first members on Pat Spark's email chat list for Feltmakers. Pat is one of the pioneers for felting in the US and was dedicated to educating, and promoting the craft through her monthly newsletter. Pat's email discussion list encouraged exchange of technical information, and permitted suppliers to also share their contact information. This gave Jill an initial customer base for the wool she had access to, and a small business was born.
Jill taught at numerous fiber shows around the country as felting workshops began to be of interest. She also sold finished garments and accessories to boutiques and small shops in Texas and Colorado, all while gradually learning about importing, and building her stock of supplies for sale to others.
Outback Fibers has had a website since 1997, adding a shopping cart in 2001 and now services orders for thousands of customers annually. The move to Colorado gave Outback Fibers the opportunity to expand both storage space and studio space. Jill's husband, Mark, now shares the workload of ensuring that wonderful merino wool, silk fiber and fabric reaches the hands of eager feltmakers everywhere.