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Sheep Breeds


The Cotswold is an ancient breed now considered as a rare breed. The fleece is lustrous and hangs in wavy ringlets. The natural luster gives dyed colors great depth and a bit of sheen. The long-stapled length is easy to spin. Yarn is most often used for outer wear. Cotswold wool has slower felting properties but the results have interesting texture quality.


Merino is the oldest and most numerous breed in the world. The wool is the finest of all the breeds, has an exceptionally soft feel and command the highest prices. Hand spinners find it valuable for baby wear and fine next to the skin garments. The staple length is short as is the luster but remarkably high felting properties.


Romney fiber has some luster and is considered a stronger wool with a coarse fleece, therefore, used in carpet industry, upholstery and knitted outer garments. The wool has a little faster felting property compared to Cotswold.


Corriedale has a longer staple length than merino but not as long as Cotswold wool. Corriedale fleece is fine and reasonably soft and medium luster. Corriedale wool is used commercially for worsted and light tweeds, blankets and knitting wools.

Black Corriedale

This line of Corriedale sheep has the same wool quality, felting ability, softness, and strength.

The “black” color is somewhat misleading as the lamb begins with a very dark or black wool but as the sheep ages, the wool takes on a lighter shade of black and over years, the roving blended becomes more of the light brown to grey color.

I mention this as it may be more of a challenge to “match” the same wool color. If the buyer is wanting to purchase more of the same color of dark Corriedale wool, a sample will need to be sent to the shoppe to verify and possibly require a blending of different colors. However, there is usually 20-30 lbs of sheep wool from each sheep each year, so supply should not run short for some time.

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