Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fleece & Farm

WRF X-bred #39

After sorting through 4 more fleeces, we came up with this one to add to our group going to the Waynesburg Sheep & Fiber Festival.  Not every fleece has the quality to be a show or handspinning fleece.  What knocks them out of the running is that they have excessive "vegetable matter", stains, or even that some don't have enough staple length.  Fleeces from the yearling lamb's 1st shearing usually don't hold together well enough to be used as a competition show fleece. 
Which brings us to another point of contention ..... have you ever had a "lambs wool" sweater that was harsh & itchy?  Remember that EVERY SHEEP WAS A LAMB at one point, so lambs wool is not necessarily going to be "soft".  If it comes from a coarser wooled breed, it will have a higher micron count (thickness) and once you get to 30 microns, the "itch factor" comes into play.  Wild Rose Farm Rambouillets have 19 - 23 micron fine wool fleeces & the Dorsets will have 28 - 36 micron medium wool fleeces.  Different wools for different purposes!   

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