We have been raising Blue Faced Leicester sheep, and due to lack of as much pasture as we’d like, and other family considerations, we have stopped breeding and are just maintaining a very small flock. Their fleeces were the cleanest and nicest I’ve ever gotten during this first year of not breeding though, so I was pleased to see that! Blue Faced Leicester sheep are a long wool sheep breed with individual curly fleeces. This allows vegetable matter to work its way into the curls more than sheep breeds that have a dense, uniform, crimpy, spongy fleece. So, getting especially clean fleeces is especially exciting!
Blue Faced Leicesters produce a less heavy fleece than some breeds, so I send the few fleeces to Zeilinger’s Wool Mill to have combed into top. I prefer to spin only very clean wool that is combed, and Zeilinger’s turns out a beautifully combed top that is a delight to spin. I have been blending about 1 naturally colored fleece with 3 white fleeces and the beautiful warm tan, natural neutral color of the resultant combed top is perfect for sweaters. Having the fleeces combed into top is not the cheapest way to have them processed, but it is very well worth it.