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Sheep
Fleeces

 

"The lambs fleece I just received spilled out of the box like so many buttered noodles. I've never seen such a brilliantly lustrous fleece!"
- Janet O., Michigan

"Another lovely fleece! Thanks so much – I have
already washed it, and it turned out so pretty and
white".
- Diane R., North Carolina

"Sherry, these are so beautiful, what a great job of covering and shearing. I want more"!!!
- Tina N., Oregon

"Thank you so much for the fleece. It’s GORGEOUS".
- Elaine B., Massachusetts

"I just want to say I LOVE this fleece!!! The curl is
perfect and I am making a doll for it this week".

- Patricia S., New Jersey

Carlson Farm WensleydalesFLEECES

I have been covering my sheep since 1985 and during that time have developed strategies to manage coated longwool sheep. In addition to the use of electric fencing, pastures and enclosures must be kept free of as many hazards as possible in order to avoid cover damage. The covers must also be continually monitored for fit because if allowed to become too tight for a period of time, the fleece will be shorn off as a felted rug! Covers protect the fleeces from contamination by vegetative matter (VM) and from the weathering effects of the sun. I admit it is more work and expense than not covering the sheep, but believe that the improved quality of fleeces that are produced 'under cover' far outweigh the extra effort involved.

Individual sheep grow fleeces at different rates and with slightly different characteristics (density, curl, etc.), so shearing takes place at random times throughout the year when each fleece is at its best. Wensleydale fleece, and crosses with this breed have been repeatedly compared to silky, lustrous kid mohair.

Even the cleanest fleece on the outside is more stunning when opened up to reveal the natural luster and curl.

 

I generally have a few fleeces on hand at any given time since I shear continuously throughout the year. After ruthless skirting, I divide the fleeces into halves that may weigh anywhere from 1-1/2 lbs to 4 lbs each. Fleeces from Wensleydale sheep up to 2-yrs of age are slightly finer and softer than the eventual adult fleeces and are priced accordingly. White, black and shades of gray and silver are typical of the flock.

 

Carlson Farm Wensleydales
Twelve month fleece growth on a 93% ewe.
Carlson Farm Wensleydales
Lustrous locks of various staple lengths. A covered fleece will not show any dried out or stained fiber.
Informative display used to promote the attributes of Wensleydale sheep and fleeces.

What can you do with Wensleydale wool? In addition to many weaving applications, here are a few examples of the uses submitted by recent enthusiasts -

Wensleydale Wool
Wensleydale Wool
In this sweater purchased at the Wensleydale Sheep Shop in England, Wensleydale wool has been spun into a fine, two-ply yarn and knitted into a lightweight pullover sweater.
The wool is easily spun and yarns retain the characteristic luster of Wensleydale wool. Here you see a variety of one-ply, two-ply, relaxed and overspun, boucle, dyed and natural colors.
Wensleydale Wool Wensleydale Wool
These unique Christmas ornaments are fashioned with Wensleydale wool. Strong Wensleydale wool is perfectly suited for making beautiful longwearing socks.

 

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