Thursday, June 14, 2007

Skirting Fleeces

I got around to skirting the first of this year's fleeces yesterday. This one is from Scarlett, a yearling ewe. That makes this fleece a "hogget" fleece, which is the wool from a sheep's first shearing. They're supposed to be really soft. We put each sheep's fleece into a bag when the shearer was done, and I labeled it with the name of the sheep. I probably won't keep them separate when I send them to be processed, except for this one, as it was the only hogget fleece there was this year. I "poured" it out of the bag onto the porch and spread it out. You can almost see the shape of the sheep.

Here it is from another angle:

After it's spread out, you pull off the parts from around the outside edges that are the dirtiest. The best wool is supposed to be from the back of the sheep. I put the "throw-away" pile to the side,

and then here's the fleece after skirting.

Then, when that's done, I rolled it up with the cut side out, and here it is:

You can't really see it from the picture, but I pulled out a few locks to look at up close, and the wool from this particular sheep (Rambouillet) has a really tight crimp.

I guess now it's one down and four to go!


Glorious Hats said...

Thanks so much for describing this process. Great photos and story. Really like learning the process of things.

Prairie Daisy Handspun said...

I'm anxious to send the fleeces off to the mill to be processed, but they are so busy this time of year, they said it would be September before they could get to it. They say patience is a virtue. :)


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