At Athenry we shear our beautiful ladies annually, just prior to lambing. The wool is unique to the breed; stunning jet back or wool with a reddish tinge on the tips that is referred to as cuchddu.
We currently market our wool through the Alberta Yarn Project located in Edmonton, Alberta. They are a lovely group of girls who are passionate about connecting folks involved in the fibre arts community with the producers that raise the sheep! They attend many art and fibre shows throughout Western Canada. Please contact or visit them for more information on purchasing spun or raw wool. They also have some beautiful patterns using different blends of wool including merino and Dorset.
Check out this link to see their Blog from their visit to our farm in 2014
Type: Down-Type Wool, Primitive
Amount: Fleeces are 2.5- 4 lbs.
Soundness: passes ping test, some tips somewhat weathered and have a beautiful reddish brown colour
Fibre diameter: mostly Medium, very few are next to skin soft. We do select the top fleeces for selling to handspinners.
Length: average 1.5" - 2.5"
Condition: The raw fleeces do contain some VM. We remove neck areas as needed and much of the britch areas. We spend considerable time skirting at shearing (we get better and better at it every year!) We feed our ewes on the ground and this has significantly reduced the vm contamination of the fleece. That being said, remember these are raw fleeces and these animals are not jacketed. They do require bedding in the winter months for extra comfort and warmth.