Border Leicester

Breed Type: Wool Breed
Country of Origin: England
Breed Association Website: ablasheep.org

The Border Leicester breed was developed by the Cully brothers in Northumberland, England in 1767 from the crossing of Leicester rams with Teeswater ewes. Some believe that Cheviot blood was also introduced prior to the firm establishment of the breed in 1850. While the Leicester breed was first introduced by George Washington, there are no reports of Border Leicesters being imported into the U.S. The breed was first recognized in the States in 1920 as the result of a census. Since their establishment, Border Leicesters have been used in the improvement and development of other longwool breeds.

These medium-sized sheep are easily recognizable by their characteristic heads which are free of wool with long, erect ears and an arched Roman nose. Their bare legs and head make it easy to shear them for their long, lustrous wool. Traditional Border Leicester fleeces are between 38 and 30 microns and have “pencil” locks with tips ending in small curls. Over the course of a year, these animals grow 8-12 pounds of wool which will yield 70% after scouring. The fleece of a Border Leicester is extremely versatile – it can be spun for texture or for smoothness, felts well, and is easily dyed. Although a longwool breed, some of the finer wool can even be used in everyday garments like sweaters and socks.

Border Leicesters are easy to manage due to their maternal nature, easy keeping, and calm temperament. They are prolific, heavy milkers, and make excellent mothers. When kept on pasture, they are good foragers and can get by with less feed. These traits, along with how easy they are to handle, make them extremely desirable animals for any shepherd.


This breed presented by

Sunset Springs Farms
Brietta Latham
12708 Hessong Bridge Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
(240) 457-0440

2022 Catalog Cover Artist

Susan Due Pearcy has lived in the Agricultural Reserve in Barnesville, Maryland for 27 years and enjoys having sheep grazing next door and fibre artist friends nearby. She is continually inspired in her art and life by the natural beauty of her surroundings and works plein air in oil and pastel and creates her printmaking in Sugarloaf Studio behind her home...

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Don't forget - The deadline to submit teaching proposals for the 2023 Festival is July 15.The Fiber Arts Seminar Committee invites instructors from every heritage, culture, belief system, and lifestyle to submit a teaching proposal. If you are interested in offering a seminar, class, or lecture at the 2023 Festival, please use the Online Proposal Form at sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/request-for-proposals-2023-fiber-arts-seminars/.#MDsheepwoolfest #mdsheepandwool #mdsheepandwoolfestival #mdsw2023 #fiberartseminars ... See MoreSee Less
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Reminder - The deadline to submit teaching proposals for the 2023 Festival is July 15.The Fiber Arts Seminar Committee invites instructors from every heritage, culture, belief system, and lifestyle to submit a teaching proposal. If you are interested in offering a seminar, class, or lecture at the 2023 Festival, please use the Online Proposal Form at sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/request-for-proposals-2023-fiber-arts-seminars/.#MDsheepwoolfest #mdsheepandwool #mdsheepandwoolfestival #mdsw2023 #fiberartseminars ... See MoreSee Less
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It's only been a little over a month since the 2022 festival, but we are already making plans for our 50th anniversary festival in 2023. If you are interested in applying for a vendor booth at the 2023 festival, we are now accepting new vendor applications online at sheepandwool.wufoo.com/forms/2023-application-for-booth-space-new-vendor/. The deadline for applications is October 1. Photo Credit @philgrout #MDsheepwoolfest #mdsheepandwool #mdsheepandwoolfestival #50th #mdsw2023 ... See MoreSee Less
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