Longwool fiber, just like it sounds are long staple, 6 inches or more, and is much easier for handspinning, especially for the beginning spinner. And they produce an exceptionally strong yarn due to the long fibers binding together. Due to the unique structure of the fiber they also have a lovely shine, known in the industry as luster. The Wensleydale and Teeswater breeds carry the most luster of any of the longwool breeds. The Teeswater flecces carry slightly more than the Wensleydale as a rule, however that characteristic varies with individuals in each breed.
While producing a strong yarn, it has an amazing softness, luster and drape without loss of shape in a knitted garment.
The Wensleydale breed originated in the Wensleydale region of Yorkshire, England and The Teeswater breed originated not far away in the region near the Tees River. They have the same ancestors but the breeds developed separatey in the flocks of each region.
The Teeswater sheep are distinctly marked with black legs, ears and a marked noseband as if dipped in ink! They are full bodied and stately with ewes weighing close to 150 lbs and rams substantially more.
The Wensleydale is similar in size and structure, with a distinctively blue gray face.
Both breeds produce a large quantity of fleece annually, appx 10 lbs. of luscious kemp free curly locks.
Originally used in England to add size and structure to the hill breeds, The Masham is a heavy bodied crossbred sheep developed by breeding Teeswaters rams to produce quality market lambs .The Wensleydale and Teeswater fleeces were secondary characteristics, yet in present day are now being discovered and sought after by fiber enthusiasts everywhere.
They have excellent temperaments,and both breeds have a gentle nature. We teach our lambs to lead for ease in handling and showing. Our sheep make a great presentation walking freely on lead around the show ring, and have claimed numerous awards and several Championships.
We traditionally lamb between February and April each year and have quality lambs available for breeding stock in early summer.
Shearing twice yearly, in Late May and in late November, we usually have a good supply of fleeces available. We also offer a variety of products including roving and a large selection of yarns in different weights and colors.