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Fibre Focus - Merino Sheep

This month our Fibre Focus talks about the Merino sheep, which is an economically influential breed of sheep prized for its wool. The breed originated in Spain, but the modern Merino was domesticated in New Zealand and Australia.

Fibre Focus - Merino Sheep

The Sheep

The muzzle should be broad and large with full open nostrils.  It should be pink and soft with the absence of coloured spots and tan markings.

The face should be covered with short creamy coloured hair with the absence of frosty kempy fibres and be free from pigment.

The Wool

In essence, it is the wool features of the Merino that sets it apart from other breeds. In particular, the Australian Merino is unique in possessing a luxuriant skin producing an exceptional number of fine secondary wool fibres.

The staple length should be consistent with the type or strain of Merino selected.  Typically, annual growths of over 100mm for ‘strong wool Merinos’ and over 75mm for ‘fine wool Merinos’ should be aimed for. The wool staples should be soft to handle in terms of resistance to compression and fibre smoothness.

Crafting

We love the Merino sheep as it is so versatile and a great choice for hand spinning and felting! 

The Merino range is the largest we sell at World of Wool, including:

We are sure that you will have made lots of wonderful creations with Merino wool, let us know what you’ve made and share them with us on Twitter and Facebook

Source with thanks to:  The Australian Association of Stud Merino Breeders

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