Monday, 4 March 2013

Baa Baa

I'm four weeks in to my Felt making course and today was a special day spent talking about wool...and visiting Devon and Cornwall Wools.

Wool is a by product of meat production and therefore needs to be disposed of by farmers. Fleeces are brought to this huge (and very cold) warehouse where they are sorted and graded before being shipped out to different manufacturers.

Each fleece is individually graded by experts who can instantly assess the micron count and also see if the sheep has been under any stress which may affect the strength of the wool fibres.

Different breeds of sheep produce a variety of types of fleece and in many colours..
a really informative and interesting peek into wool production. I'm looking at sheep in the fields in a very different way now.

The rest of the day was spent at a wonderful farm on Exmoor specialising in a modern rare breed sheep the Bowmont . these  pretty little animals can be seen at Devon Fine Fibres I won't even try to tell you about this little bit of heaven just click on the link and see for yourself....



Shirley said...

Thank you for the link. I went and had a look and worth seeing. Such lovely photography and interesting.

Dorthe said...

Dear Angela, that must have been a wonderful and interesting day.
The wool looks great and yes so different from one bunch to another -
Here we can also buy wool from the farmers, straight from the farm....
It then needs a good washing and sorting :-)

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I don't like to think of wool as a byproduct of meat production. Why can't the little sheep just romp happily in the fields all their lives and give freely of their wool by shearing? :) I do find it completely amazing how that can be turned into such lovely yarn. I'm sure you are learning a lot. Best wishes, Tammy

Sugar Lump Studios said...

Seeing all the sheepskins reminds me of my trip to England/Scotland at age 10. Mom brought back sheepskin rugs for our bedrooms. It was nice see the photos.
We still have winter here - with a tease of spring. But the ice on the lake has *almost* melted and the swans are back! ;)
Have a great weekend!

Zed said...

I would have been in heaven! It looks like a great day out :)

Aaw, Tammy, not all wool comes from meat sheep, in fact the wool from meat sheep is generally coarser and not usually used for wool for felting, knitting, spinning etc. Those sheep do live good lives being kept just for shearing.

But it is nice to know that meat sheep fleece isn't 'wasted'.