While the Blue Face Leicester wools (ecru BFL, Superwash BFL, BFL/silk) and, of course, Merino wool (in 21.5 and 19 micron) continue to be in the top ten performers for the ecru fiber division, Falkland wool top, Polwarth wool top, and Corriedale cross wool have had a significant gain in interest in 2014.
With the growing interest and popularity of Polwarth wool and our Polwarth silk (85/15) blends, we decided to create a more luxurious Polwarth blend. Toward the end of October 2014 we introduced a new product, 60% Polwarth wool and 40% tussah silk. This silk rich fiber blend is a luxury to work with. It dyes beautifully, spins easily and has a more pronounced drape with the additional silk content.
I had so much fun playing around with our new blend! The first trip through the dyepot was an immersion dye in light yellow. Next, I painted the roving with primary colors. I purposely did not let the painted dye saturate completely to maintain the light yellow on the inside of the roving. This gives the overall spun yarn a more pastel for a summer project.
If you have not yet tried this fabulous new blend, now is the time! And for those interested, I have gathered a few facts about the Polwarth sheep below.
• The Polwarth sheep was developed in Australia by breeding Merino rams to Lincoln/Merino ewes so the foundation stock is 75% Merino/25% Lincoln
• The Polwarth sheep were developed to make a dual purpose sheep with a finer wool that would contribute a more significant portion of the ranchers income.
• Australia, New Zealand, Falkland Islands, South America.
• They are a hearty breed of sheep that can be found in climates that are considered too wet or cold for Merino sheep.
• The Polwarth breed has both polled and horned sheep. The most common is the polled. They are a large sheep with a high yielding fleece (between 8 – 13 lb fleeces)
• Polwarth fiber has a longer staple length from its Lincoln DNA. Easier to spin with longer staple length.
• Micron count between 22-25. Definitely next to skin softness.
• Noted for its elasticity, durability it is still considered a delicate fiber with bounce and drape