Icelandic sheep fiber is a premium fiber, low in lanolin and excellent for handspinning. It is strong, durable, yet soft, and comes in many natural colors that do not require dyeing. There are two layers to an Icelandic sheep fleece. The undercoat is fine and soft, called thel, and is much shorter than the coarser outercoat, called tog.
Lamb fleeces are the softest. I rate them from soft, very soft, to buttery soft. Lamb fleece can be worn next to the skin depending on your sensitivity. Ewe and wether (neutered male) is not as soft as lamb fleece. The wool is strong and warm - so it makes outer wear such as sweaters, jackets and socks. Ram wool is very strong and a bit coarser - outer wear such as a fisherman sweater or rugs.
Our sheep are sheared twice yearly, producing a spring and a fall fleece. The spring fleece is an excellent fiber for felting. It is typically four to six inches in length. The fall fleece is the finest, making it the best choice for spinning. Its length is typically six to eight inches for ewes; lamb fleece reaches ten to twelve inches.
We sell fleece whole and by the pound.
Whole fleeces are sold in two ways: raw or washed. Raw fleeces are skirted, removing the majority of vegetation and other foreign matter. Washed fleeces are skirted then washed in multiple soakings, until the wash water is clean. Any fleece we have listed can be washed before shipping. I charge $5/pound for washing. My sheep are not coated. So there will be bits and pieces of VM; I try to skirt most out. It is mostly just tiny bits of hay which will comb out or will fall out when you open up the locks.
From whole fleece, we will also comb and card into batts or rovings by hand. Batts and rovings are sold by the ounce. You choose the color as well as lamb or adult fiber and we will match a fleece to your choice from which we will hand make the batts or rovings. If this is your choice, please contact us for an approximate date of availability.
You may also choose to purchase a whole fleece and send it to the processor of your choice for turning into rovings, batts, or yarn. Processors will accept unwashed fleece and charge a little extra for the cleaning.