[Ansteorra-textiles] period sheep breed

Robert and Beth Ellis killian at viptx.net
Fri May 17 16:04:48 PDT 2002

Oh, I love Shetland - it's soft and easy to spin up.  And all those colors!
The Jacob fleece  I've spun up is not as soft, but still nice.  Karakul has
long staples and is very easy to spin, but it's a tad on the scratchy side.

In various sources I've read that modern Shetlands are thought to be the
descendents of of sheep brought over to the Shetland islands by the Vikings.
Karakuls (either mideastern or Russian depending upon the source I've read)
are supposed to be ancient.  Jacobs are apparently at least medieval.  I was
originally told that modern Jacobs were "back-bred" to recover that original
breed (which had been lost), but since I've never encountered that story in
print it may be nonsense (which would be unfortunate -  I find the idea of
back breeding them to be rather charming).  Has anybody else heard that about

There's a good reference book for spinners on various breeds of sheep called
"In Sheep's Clothing" by Nola Fournier and Jane Fournier, and it provides a
bit of info on breed origins.  It's primary focus however, is to help
spinners select the correct type of fleece for whatever project they have in


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