Soay Wool for Hand Spinning
Middle photo by Christine Williams, www.gaerllwyd.co.uk
Soay wool varies from light to dark brown, and is naturally shed in the late spring and summer after lambing. Ewes that don’t lamb often don’t shed. The remarkably fine fleece can be variable in quality. While the double coat contains finer and coarser fibers, the two types can be hard to differentiate. If the wool is rooed (hand plucked) the guard hairs remain on the animal to fall out later, making for a cleaner softer fleece. In our experience annual production per animal averages one and two pounds of fleece with a staple length of one to three inches and quality of 44s-50s (36-29 microns)
British Soay wool is cherished by hand spinners, an art mastered by determination and patience. Spinning is achieved by twisting fiber into a continuous thread by hand with a drop spindle or by using a spinning wheel. Still River Mill, a small family operated spinning mill in Eastford, Connecticut also now has expertise in processing British Soay fiber if hand spinning is not an option. Yarn can be processed for knitting or for weaving.
Contact us for availability of wool.
Margaret B. Russell of Antrim Handweaving (http://www.antrimhandweaving.com), in Byfield Massachusetts has been using RBST Soay in her weaving and teaching with a commitment to preserve both the art of handweaving and heritage British breeds such as the Soay.
We love sharing our knowledge of Soay Sheep with interested breeders and beginners. As you can imagine between full time jobs and full time farming we keep pretty busy, but we make every effort to return emails promptly. If you are interested in purchasing lambs or wool, or have any questions at all just e-mail us! If we don't have what you are looking for we probably know someone that does, and if we don't have the answer - we'll find someone who does.
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Old Line Soays Hagerstown, Maryland