David Earle, a local rare breed owner, contacted The Weaver’s House earlier this year offering the fleece from his Shetland sheep after shearing. An offer not to be refused and several of the resident spinners have made use of them. We have also had a fleece on show at the Open Days but not everyone has fancied handling it – it is rich in lanolin which is great for your hands but some of the other products hanging about in the unwashed wool have proved less inviting! Soap and towels were available for the visitors but it may have been a “scratch and sniff experience” too far!
The complete removal of a fleece takes just a couple of minutes. Shetlands come in a variety of colours and may even be spotty under the wool.
David has a smallholding in Lowsonford, Warwickshire, and currently has twenty sheep, chickens, geese, ducks, turkeys and a collie dog. This year his ewes have produced twelve lambs to increase his flock of Shetlands. His love of rare breed sheep was inspired many years ago by Adam Henson of Countryfile fame. He started out at the age of five with five sheep of his own.
Sheep facts you may not know: animal husbandry laws state that an acre of land is required for every five sheep. Shetland sheep are smaller than most so more can be kept per acre. Sheep must be registered to breed and David is a member of the Shetland Sheep Society.
Many thanks go to David for his generosity in donating the fleeces to The Weaver’s House.