Fleeces

Care of fleeces begins before the lamb’s birth, with attention to the ewe’s nutrition before and during gestation. Before they leave the lambing pen, lambs are coated, and as they grow, their “clothes” are changed many times to accommodate growing bodies and fleeces. Prior to shearing (some shorn in September; others in April), fleece samples are tested. Prospective buyers have in hand the micron count, comfort factor, staple length, and weight of a fleece from a specific animal, to plan breeding programs or fiber projects.

We focus on genetic expression of recessive color: dark browns and silvers, moorit, and variegated fleeces for hand-spinning and felting. Fleeces are for sale at the farm on shearing days, by advance arrangement, and at several festivals in the region. If you are looking for a particular color, contact the farm. We’ll send samples—virtual (images emailed), or actual (locks from a fleece).

Currently available are a few choice fleeces from the fall 2018 shearing. Oh, my! It was challenging for Merino fleeces in our record-breaking year of rainfall here in northern Virginia. But these ewes and rams came through with flying colors. These fleeces are very well skirted and very clean. Here are the weights, staple length, fiber diameter (micron) and softness (CF, comfort factor, or “prickle factor”–the higher the better). All are $15/lb unless noted otherwise. Click on images to enlarge. Contact us to purchase one.

Raisin

Raisin. Hers is a very dark fleece (darker than it appears in the image), most of which has very little fading on the tips. 7.54 lb., 4.25 in. staple length, 21.4 microns, 97.5 CF

Puffin

Puffin. This yearling ram’s fleece is unusual: it emerges black, but soon changes to a rich warm brown (even under a black cover, which keeps ultraviolet rays out). Good lock structure. 4.3 lb., 3.5 in. staple length, 19. 1 micron, 99.5 CF.

Henna

Henna. This medium moorit fleece (slightly darker than it appears in this image) is light and will have a high yield. 4.8 lb., 3.5 in. staple length, 21.9 micron, 98.7 CF.

Lucy

Lucy. Lovely crimp on this uniform white fleece (this image doesn’t do the white justice). 6.14 lb., 4 in. staple length, 19.8 micron, 99.5 CF.

Liam

Liam. This yearling ram is a new acquisition, and you can see why, in the incredible luster and lock structure of his fleece. As he was shown in May, there is a bit of difference in the staple length. He’s already sired some lovely October lambs. 8.3 lb., 3.5 to 4 in. staple length. I don’t have a current fiber test on him, but his dam and sire were in the 20-21 micron range, and the fleece is very soft.

See also the Products page for roving and batting processed from our fleeces.