Fine, High Quality Wool:
Shetland wool is soft, durable and warm. The wool is the finest of the British landrace breeds. Fleeces will vary between animals, from a wonderfully well-developed crimp to a wavy silky sturdy fiber with a soft hand.Shetland wool is light in grease, has a variety of textures and comes in 11 official colors. White, light grey, grey, emsket (bluish grey), shaela (dark steely grey), black, musket (light greyish brown), fawn, mioget (light brown with a yellowish tone), moorit (reddish brown, brown) and dark brown. Many sheep can have color variegations, spotting, and they can have some 32 different markings and patterns.
Shetland wool is highly resistant to felting, and is machine washable. Staple length can vary, but typically is from 4-8 inches long.No two fleeces are the same so no matter what wool project you consider, a Shetland fleece is more than likely to fit your needs. Traditionally, Shetland wool has been used for fine knitting yarns. The Shetland Isles were famous for Fair Isle garments as well as fine wool knitted shawls that was spun so finely that they could be drawn through a wedding ring. Neck wool is very fine as to be spun and knitted into next to the skin baby wear. The courser wool of the breech would be used to knit into hardy fishermen sweaters.
Following is a general description of the three most distinct Shetland fiber types:
Longish and Wavy:
Most typically seen. Fleece has an open quality, with the tips of each lock closed. Spins up very easily. Nice for worsted wool applications such as in fine-woven fabrics for suits and knitwear that has a well-defined pattern that must be retained, such as Fair-Isle sweaters.
Extremely soft and downy. Short staple, typically 3 to 4 inches in length. Ideal for the softest, next to the skin knitwear.
Long and luxurious. The ideal double coated fleece has well defined separate coats. Outer coat is long and courser and the protected undercoat is very soft and downy. The outer coat is easily separated either by pulling on it or by using tools such as a hackle to separate the outer and undercoat. The two coats may be spun together or separately. With the outer coat protection the integrity of the soft undercoat is preserved from weather, dirt and bedding or pasture debris. This is the most versatile of fleeces.
© McAvoy Meadow Ranch All Rights Reserved