In today’s post we’ll be talking about some of the common American sheep breeds. Each breed is unique in their fiber, and will produce different batts, roving, and yarn.
There are many farms across the United States that are breeding sheep for fiber, and we encourage you to look for local fiber in your area.
The Cormo is an Australian breed of sheep developed in Tasmania by crossing Corriedale rams with superfine Saxon Merino ewes in the early 1960s. The name Cormo is derived from the names of two of the parent breeds, Corriedale and Merino. The American Cormo originated in Tasmania from 1/4 Lincoln x 1/4 Australian Merino x 1/2 Superfine Saxon Merino and was introduced into the U.S. in 1976. They have open faces and are a hardy breed adaptable to harsh climatic conditions. They produce a white, long stapled, high yielding fine-wool fleece with a high degree of fiber uniformity. Cormo fleece is excellent for hand spinners interested in finer fibers and soft yarns.
The Wensleydale is a breed of domestic sheep that originated in the Wensleydale region of North Yorkshire, England. Possessing a blue–grey face, the breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater. One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale is known for its long, ringlet-like locks of wool. Fleeces are entirely kemp free as a result of the unique characteristics of the wool-producing follicles.
Border Leicester is a breed of sheep originating in England and raised primarily for meat. Border Leicesters are long-wooled sheep. Though large in size and robust, they are also docile. Border Leicesters yield a long-stapled, lustrous, coarse wool that is much adored by handspinners.
Do you have a favorite breed of sheep for carding and spinning? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
American Sheep Industry Association: http://www.sheepusa.org/Fine_Wool_Breeds#
Wensleydale Sheep: http://wensleydale-sheep.com/?page_id=34