The Bluefaced Leicester with its phantastic Roman nose and dark skin is a longwool breed which has been developed over a period of 200 years in the north of England. The first animals date back to the early 20th century.
The quality of the wool is very soft, and in comparison to the finely crimped merino wool curly with a silky sheen. It drapes nicely and dyes very well.
The Bluefaced Leicester yarn I offer is a DK weight.
Masham sheep were bred in the North of England as a cross between a Teeswater ram and a Dalesbred or Swaledale ewe for over a century. It is another longwool breed and is known for its hardiness and longevity.
The Blueface/Masham yarn I offer is a 2-ply worsted yarn. The mix of ecru Bluefaced Leicester and natural brown Masham wool results in a great marble effect which produces very interesting colours when dyed. The yarn is soft, more crimped than pure Bluefaced Leicester and very comfortable to wear.
The predessesors of the Merino breed where introduced into northern Africa, from where they reached Spain during the 12th century. During the following 200 years Spanish breeders crossbred these sheep with English breeds to develop the merino. For many centuries Spain was the main producer of fine wool and until the 18th century it was strictly forbidden to export merino sheep.
At the end of the 18th century European settlers took merino sheep to Australia and New Zealand. Because wool was much easier to export over long distances than the perishable meat, farmers in those regions concentrated on developing a good quality wool. Today merino sheep from these regions as well as from other parts of the southern hemisphere like Argentina or the Falkland Islands produce the finest wool.
The Merino wool I offer comes from organic farming in Patagonia without mulesing or chemical sheep dips. It is a 4-ply weight, extremely soft and machine washable
which makes it perfect for children´s clothes. I buy it undyed from Rosy Green Wool. For more information, please visit their website.