Fibre

Natural coloured Romney lamb fleece

Natural coloured Romney lamb fleece

Coopworth locks

Coopworth locks

Fibre is what spinners and other fibre artists dream about at night. We fantasize about finding the perfect fleece with gorgeous long locks and no dirt or vm (vegetable matter like hay, burrs and seeds). Perfect fleeces do exist. Some sheep wear coats all year round to protect their wool from dirt and vegetation and some live in climates that encourage clean fleeces.

My goal is to find these perfect fleeces and share them with you.

I also hand process some of the fibre I buy. I create batts on my drum carders and top on my hand combs. Hand processed fibre is not subjected to the harsh chemicals that may be used in a commercial mill to dissolve vm. I wash fleeces with gentle detergent, air dry them in the sun and remove vm by hand or by combing. I spend hours picking stuff out of those fleeces that are not quite perfect so you only have to work with the best fibre.

Hand combed Cotswold

Hand combed Cotswold

Some of the sheep fibres I have offered to my customers in the past are Merino, Polwarth (local and from New Zealand), Shetland, Bluefaced Leicester, Border Leicester, Leicester Longwool, Navajo Churro, Gotland, Wensleydale, Teeswater, Cotswold, Coopworth, Falkland, Rideau Arcott, Icelandic, Suffolk, Romney, Corriedale, Finn, and Jacob.

Non wool fibres include Suri and Huacaya alpaca, llama, various kinds of silk, soy silk, bamboo, cotton, mohair, qiviut, cashmere, and angora rabbit.

I am always on the lookout for new fibres to share.

Gotland Wensleydale cross fleeces

Gotland Wensleydale cross fleeces

I like to go right to the source and help out on shearing day. Once the fleece is off the sheep it must be skirted, which means removing any bits that are dirty with dung, are matted or contaminated with too much vm, or just too short to be useful.