Mystery Fleece

January 30, 2014

IMG_1526I was recently given a bag of fleece.  Beware of free fleece, most spinners will tell you.  There could be moths or it could just be a poor quality fleece.  I did know the provenance of the bag however. It was from an experienced spinner, passed to a new spinner to learn with and when the spinning did not settle, was passed to me. This boded well, I thought.

The fleece is clearly long wool, sturdy, strong and few crimps.  But what kind of long wool? Can anyone give a guess?

IMG_1522Here is what is known

  • the staple is about 17 cm or 7 inches in length
  • there are about 2 1/4 crimps per inch
  • definite locks but not really curly
  • smooth feel, not overly coarse
  • uniformly cream in colour
  • was thought suitable as a beginner’s fleece
  • most likely Victoria, Australia origin (so unlikely to be anything particularly rare

IMG_1555I am leaning to Border Leicester after looking at these locks in The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook. The authors, Robson and Ekarius say it is an easy to spin fibre, more so than Blue Faced Leicester or Leicester Longwool.  Given that fleece was thought appropriate for a beginner spinner by an experienced one, this makes sense.

However, I have absolutely no experience with long wools apart from Blue Faced Leicester tops.  There are far fewer crimps per inch than the BFL that I spun. Could it possibly be a Leicester Longwool fleece?

Do any of you know what the mystery fleece might be? Any ideas are most welcome.