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Fibre Focus - Icelandic Sheep

This month our  fibre focus talks about the Icelandic sheep who are members of the Northern European short-tailed group of sheep!

The Sheep
Icelandic sheep are stunning to look at, both for their spectacular fleeces and their equally impressive horns.

The rams' horns develop a wide double curl, whereas the ewes' horns sweep backwards in a half circle. They have clean, dished faces with slightly prominent eyes, and their lustrous fleeces come in a huge variety of colours and patterns, making them one of the most attractive of all sheep breeds.

Icelandic sheep have naturally short, fluke shaped tails, and are medium sized and fine boned. They shed their fleeces in the early Spring.

The Wool
The Icelandic fleece is made up of two layers. There is a long, silky layer - the tog - made up of fibres up to 20 cm long, which helps make the fleece water-resistant. The very fine, soft shorter layer - the thel - with fibres approximately 8 cm long, helps make the fleece extremely warm and light.

Icelandic wool is dense with a good lustre and is long. Therefore, it is well suited to combing. This is one of the best felting wools in the world as it is lightweight, water repellent and breathable. 34-36 Micron, average length of 90-100mm. Perfect for hand spinning, hand felting and many other craft uses.

We stock Icelandic top at £1.90 per 100g, order yours here!

Source: British Icelandic Sheep Breeders Group

Photo with thanks to: British Icelandic Sheep Breeders Group

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