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.
Click here for Fleeces Currently Available
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 -
---> Click here for Fleeces Currently Available <---
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