Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dorsets and Romneys Dorsets in England. They look like ours........... (o; They say absolutely nothing about their fleeces. This is what they have to say about the Dorset fleeces...This holds true with ours.
Both horned and polled Dorsets are an all white sheep of medium size having good body length and muscle conformation to produce a desirable carcass. The fleece is very white, strong, close and free from dark fiber. Dorset fleeces average five to nine pounds (2.25-4 kg) in the ewes with a yield of between 50% and 70%. The staple length ranges from 2.5 to 4 inches (6-10 cm) with a numeric count of 46's-58's. The fiber diameter will range from 33.0 to 27.0 microns.

This is Merino-Medium-wool Merinos are primarily grown for wool production, although improved carcass quality gives this breed a dual purpose. Their wool is almost totally absorbed by the textile trade, in particular high quality apparel wool.
The strain is large framed and relatively plain bodied, producing a heavy fleece which is soft handling and of good color with a fiber diameter of 20-22 microns. Staple length is approximately 90mm. (3.5433")

And Corriedale-The Corriedale produces bulky, high-yielding wool ranging from 31.5 to 24.5 micron fiber diameter. The fleece from mature ewes will weigh from 10 to 17 pounds (4.5-7.7 kg) with a staple length of 3.5 to 6 inches (9-15 cm). The yield percent of the fleece ranges from 50 to 60 percent. Until we started coating Goliath, he typically gave us a 15-16# fleece every year. The coat seems to absorb some of his lanolin weight, as well as keeping out all the VM.

And the Romney-The Romney fleece is unique among all breeds of sheep in the way it combines several important traits. The fleece is lustrous; it hangs in separate locks, with minimal cross fibers between the locks. It is also high yielding and easily spun. Uniformity of crimp from the butt to the tip of a lock is also typical of the breed. Romney wool has the finest fiber diameter of all the longwool breeds; the spinning count may run from 40 to 48 which is 38.0 to 31.0 microns. Ideally, the spinning count of the fleece is consistent over the entire body.
Fleeces from mature ewes will weigh from eight to twelve pounds (3.6-5.4 kg). It is the low grease content of Romney wool that makes it a very light shrinking fleece upon washing, and consequently high yielding with a range in yield from 65 to 80%.

So, for numbers we have-micron count and length-
Dorset- 33-27 2.5-4"
Corriedale- 31.5-24.5 3.5-6
Merino- 20-22 3.5
Romney- 38-31 3-8

Our Dorsets are as fine, if not finer than our Corriedale. The only drawback is the length. Some years we get 2" fleeces, which are great for socks, and other years we get 4" fleeces, which are great for shawls. I love our Dorsets no matter the length as the wool is next to the skin soft, but durable.

Our Romneys are mostly natural colored, and all of our ewes at this time are tri-colored. We have one white Romney. Our fleeces are all next to the skin soft and long.

We have one aging Corriedale wether. He may be getting old, but his fleece looks and feels the same as it did when he was much younger. All Goliath has to do is eat, drink and grow fleece. (o;

My favorite fleece here on the farm though is the Dorset/Romney and Corriedale/Romney. We use our Romney ram(s) on the Dorset or Corriedale ewe and get the Romney length and the Dorset or Corriedale fineness. This way you can spin as fine or as thick as you want and still maintain the softness of the mother's breed.

Looking at the upcoming weather, we are hoping to start shearing next weekend, the 31st of Jan-1st of Feb. I will take pictures and post the fleeces on our fleece blog.

Stay tuned!

No comments:

Recent Comments