Icelandic sheep are an ancient breed taken to Iceland by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago. The first imports to the United Kingdom were in the early 1980’s. These sheep have a unique double fleece comprising a soft under fleece and a more hairy top fleece. The fleeces are a variety of browns, greys, cream, and black, with some fleeces containing various shades and colours. Our Icelandic wool produces warm cosy knitwear and the knit as Aran yarn is particularly robust and suitable for outdoor wear. The marl yarns are different coloured fleeces plied together.
Shetland sheep have very fine fleeces – the finest of any British breed. These sheep evolved on the Shetland Islands in relative isolation since the 8th Century. Shetlands have a beautiful range of natural coloured fleeces and the individual fleeces can contain a mix of colours and shades, hence the interesting colour effects when the wool is spun and knitted. This, together with the wonderful softness of the wool, makes knitwear unique and comfortable to wear.
Jacob sheep were in existence in Biblical times and take their name from the story of Jacob told in the Old Testament Book of Genesis. Their fleece is white with black or dark coloured spots and our Jacob fleeces are carefully sorted to give four beautiful natural fleece colours.
Angora Goats may have originated in pre-biblical times in the mountains of Tibet, but in later centuries mohair production mainly existed around the city of Ankara in Turkey, the best fleeces coming from the province of Angora. Thus, the name Angora was given to this type of goat. The fibre produced by the Angora goat is called mohair from the Arabic word “mukhayyar” meaning, “best fleece”. Kid Mohair is a soft luxurious yarn and has a wonderful lustre. Our mohair is spun similar to wool and is therefore unbrushed, which gives it a wonderful silky softness. Natural Ivory is the fleece colour of the goats. Kid Mohair is obtained from kids six and twelve months of age. At eighteen months and two years of age, the mohair is then classified as young goat. We occasionally have young goat mohair spun with white lamb’s wool to achieve the benefit of beautiful mohair coupled with soft lamb’s wool.
Merino Falkland Wool
Sheep farming to produce high quality wool has been the main form of agriculture in the Falkland Islands for over the last 170 years. Fleeces are available from the Polwarth, Corriedale, Cormo, Dohne Merino, Multi Purpose Merinos (MPM's) and Comeback sheep breeds. Completely free of sheep dip residues (No sheep dipping is undertaken by Falkland Island farmers) All sheep non-mulesed these are important issues for us and one of the reasons we like to source our Merino yarn using Falkland fleece.