Rare Wools in our Wool Room
Wool has been important in northern New England since colonial times. We raise three endangered breeds of sheep: Leicester Longwools, Soays and California Variegated/Romeldale (“CVM”) and offer their fiber for sale.
Whether you are a spinner or knitter already familiar with our fiber or a “wool list” fiber devotee adding to your experience working with rare fiber, we may have something for you. We have long considered importing many rare wools from other countries. Let us know if you would like even more fiber choices. In many countries, dedicated shepherds are working against all odds to save beautiful and useful sheep whose genes help sustain small, local farms – the lifeblood of rural villages and communities. We can all help to assure genetic diversity across the globe.
Soays are the most primitive of the domestic sheep. They shed their winter wool in the spring. It is collected by combing, a process called “rooing”. The fiber is quite variable among different animals. Fleece of some animals is quite fine. Other fleeces consist of a continuous range of fiber sizes. Coats are not organized into inner fine, and outer course layers. Rooing typically yields 12 to 20 ounces of wool. This is wool as it was three thousand years ago. Fleeces are quite small, typically less than a pound.We sell only whole fleeces.
Leicester Longwool fiber is of long staple, lustrous, strong and of medium texture. All of our Leicesters are white, (however Leicester Longwools also come in different fiber shades.) Locks fall in wavy curls. The fiber dyes beautifully and felts well. Skirted fleeces are large, weighing 6 to 8 pounds. Fleeces and washed locks are for sale.
California Variegated/Romeldale sheep are a multicolored variant of Romeldales. Fiber is quite fine and of colors ranging from light tan through dark brown. The sheep have some black and white wool on faces and legs but it is quite short and not useful. Wool is quite fine, close crimped, and very soft. It is a spinner’s fleece. It does not felt readily. Fleeces, roving and yarn are available.