Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Herdwick

Posted: April 21, 2021

Breed Type: Dual-Purpose Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: https://www.facebook.com/HSBANAInc/

Herdwick sheep are the native breed of the central and western Lake District, U.K., and live on the highest of England’s mountains. They are extremely hardy and are managed in the traditional way on the Lake District fells that have been their home for generations.

The word “Herdvyck”, meaning sheep pasture, is recorded in documents going back to the 12th century. Herdwick sheep are the most hardy of all Britain’s breeds of hill sheep, grazing the central and western dales of the Lake District with fells running to over 3000 feet.

Beatrix Potter, of Peter Rabbit stories, raised and showed Herdwick Sheep. She served as the first woman president of the U.K. Breed Association. During her life, she acquired many farms, which upon her death, she bequeathed to the National Trust to preserve the Herdwick Breed.

Herdwick are a multi-coated, primitive, original type dual purpose breed. Born black, the lambs’ faces and legs turn white over their first summer, and the fleece turns a brown. Over the following years, the fleeces fade to a striking blue/grey. Adult ewes are about 100lbs, and rams 165lbs. The fleece is …

Bluefaced Leicester

Posted: April 16, 2021

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: bflsheep.com

The Bluefaced Leicester is one of the three Leicester breeds of sheep [English Leicester Longwool, Border Leicester, and Bluefaced Leicester].

The Old English Leicester, Teeswater, Dishley Leicester (or Bakewell’s “Improved Leicester”), Border Leicester, and Wensleydale all contributed to the eventual development of the Bluefaced Leicester. Therefore, the Bluefaced Leicester is classified as a longwool breed.

Though its fleece is typically at the finer end of the longwool range, it exhibits characteristics unique to longwools, most notably staple length and structure.

On both white and natural colored Bluefaced Leicesters, the wool should be tightly purled, fine, dense, semi-lustrous, and when parted, it should open cleanly to the skin. There should be an even, consistent fleece coverage on the body, and the fleece should be free of hair and kemp. There should be no tendency for the main body of fleece to “peel” (the fleece breaking and sloughing off).

The Bluefaced Leicester is classified as a longwool breed with a staple length of 3-6 inches, a fleece weight of 2½-4½ lbs., and a fiber diameter of 56s–60s count, or 24-28 microns. It creates high-quality semi-luster yarns with soft hand, …

Black Leicester Longwool

Posted: April 10, 2021

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: leicesterlongwool.org

The Leicester Longwool is one of the “luster longwool” breeds, so designated for the sheen and brilliance of their wool. The sheep appear to shine just after shearing, when the clean wool next to their skin catches the sunlight and makes them glisten for a few days before the dust and dirt of their environment catches up to them and the glow is hidden for another year.

The Leicester Longwool breed is also known as the English Leicester (pronounced lester). The breed was developed in England in the mid 1700s by innovative breeder Robert Bakewell, the first to use modern selection techniques to improve livestock breeds. Bakewell transformed a coarse, large boned, slow growing animal into one that grew rapidly for market and produced a higher quality fleece.

News of Bakewell’s ideas reached the colonies before the American Revolution and so intrigued George Washington that he made reference to them in several letters. Washington was particularly interested in Bakewell’s sheep, writing that he made the “choice of good rams from the English Leicester breed” for his own flock. In 1837, the agriculturist Youatt wrote that, “within little …

Wensleydale

Posted: April 10, 2021

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Breed Association Website: wensleydalesheep.org

The Wensleydale breed from the United Kingdom has recently been established in the United States, with its development to date based on imported semen. It is a very large, prolific longwool sheep which has been used in Britain as a ewe-sire breed, mated to hill-breed ewes to produce prolific crossbred females.


This breed presented by

Crimson Shamrock
David Moran
893 Eglon Road
Eglon, WV 26716
(304) 288-9533

Proposals for 2022 Fiber Arts Seminars now being accepted

We are now accepting proposals for fiber arts seminars to be held in conjunction with the 49th Annual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, which will take place in person on May 7 & 8, 2022 in West Friendship, Maryland. Many seminars will be held Wednesday-Friday of the week leading up to the festival; all seminars will be held in person. The Fiber Arts Seminar Committee invites instructors from every heritage, culture, belief system, and lifestyle to submit a proposal.

Submit your proposal(s) here.

The deadline to submit a proposal is July 15.…

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