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Wensleydale

The WENSLEYDALE breed goes back to 1838, to one founding ram called "Blue Cap", a striking sire with blue pigmentation on his head, ears and around the eyes and the impressive weight of 203 kg. This pigmentation is now a distinctive sign of the breed. It is one of the largest longwool sheep, producing long-stapled lustrous wool. I call it the "Rasta-Sheep" because of its long, shiny ringlets, falling almost to the ground. They have curly forelocks, and males and females are polled.
Today the hardy WENSLEYDALE rams are mostly used to crossbreed with Swaledale, Rough Fell and Scottish Blackface, in order to obtain market lambs and high-quality wool.
The fleece is one of the finest of the longwools. The staples are long, silky and particularly lustrous. Compared to other breeds, one can really tell the difference. Often the WENSLEYDALE fibres are blended with shorter wools to add strenght.

A few facts:
Today mostly found in: United Kingdom, extends into Mainland Europe
Weight of fleece: 9 to 15 lbs. (4 to 7 kg)
Micron Count: 36μm to 30μm
Staple length: 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm)

The WENSLEYDALE is considered at risk on the RBST (Rare Breed Survival Trust), meaning it there are fewer than 1500 registered sheep.

1 Other yarns