Baa Baa Black Sheep
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Basic characteristics of breeds that are commonly available among coloured sheep in New Zealand:
33-37 micron, 125-175mm, some lustre. Many purposes, including outer garments and rugs. The most numerous breed in New Zealand. Most popular breed with handcrafters.
14-25 micron, 65-100mm, little lustre. Suitable for luxury garments and baby wear. Popular for felting, fine soft wool often with a waxy tip.
23-26 micron, 75-110mm, more lustrous than merino. Fine and soft wool, suitable for knitted or woven garments and for felting. Developed from 3/4 Merino, 1/4 Lincoln.
25-13 micron, 75-110mm, medium lustre, suitable for medium-weight yarn and for felting. Similar to fine Corriedale, first cross between a longwool breed ram such as Lincoln, English Leicester or Romney and a Merino ewe.
26-35 micron, 75-125mm, medium lustre. A very versatile breed, suitable for medium-weight yarn, developed from Lincoln and English Leicester crossed with Merino.
38-44 micron, 175-250mm, lustrous. Strong wool with heavy lustrous staples, used in furnishings and wig making. Finer fleeces can be blended with mohair. Possibly the original longwool breed of England.
30-37 micron, 100-150mm, low lustre.Bouncy, low-lustre wool suitable for clothing, blankets, and many other uses. Does not felt easily. Developed from crossing Cheviot with Romney.
37-40 micron, 150-200mm, silky, lustrous, wool suitable for outer garments and rugs. Called Leicester Longwool in Britain.
27-32 micron, 75-100 mm, low lustre. Very bulky, low lustre wool which makes a bouncy yarn. Hard to felt, grows the longest wool of any of the Down type sheep.
25-33 micron, 75-125mm, silky. Soft silky wool which handles like mohair, felts easily, and is suitable for garments and woven fabrics, also known as Finnsheep or Finnish Landrace.
27-33 micron, 100-150mm, silky, lustrous.Silky lustrous wool which makes soft-draping garments and is excellent for felting, called Gotland Pelt in their native Sweden.
28-33 micron, 75-125mm, low lustre. A low lustre wool, suitable for clothing and blankets. Does not felt easily. Primarily a milking breed.
40 micron plus, 200-300 mm, low lustre. Harsh hairy fleece suited to carpets and rugs, vital part of New Zealand carpet manufacture.
Thanks to the Black & Coloured Sheep Breeders Association for their help.