Mairtin O Flaithearta Sent Wool to Shetland
The comments are very positive and are in line with the observation on the wool as it was being graded. Below is and exerpt from the emailed response from Ollie Henry at Oliversshetlandwool.com:
“The fleece you sent me was a bit matted or felted and was perhaps late clipped as some of the new wool growth was appearing, however it did resemble our “ peerie” small hill Shetland.
It weighed 2 kilos and as I said in my first email the wool staple had the same look as our Shetland finer at the neck and shoulders and getting coarser down through the fleece.
If we were grading it to our standards here in Shetland this fleece would be classed as a grade 2 if it was presented with the staple showing.
The finer neck/ shoulder wool was used for spinning into a fine yarn for knitting lace garments, the slightly coarser wool would have been spun into a jumper yarn, the coarse around the hips and back end was spun into a thicker yarn for making the “ grund” base of the “ tattit” tufted rugs that were used in the olden days for bed covers when they became worn they would be used as floor mats. The museum collection of “ tattit” rugs are over 100 years old and show little sign of wear.
We and our parent company hand sort the Shetland fleece after grading to separate the various qualities the finest goes into “ wirsit” worsted lace.
This sorting is essential to provide a quality finished yarn.
The photos of the Cladoir resemble our “ peerie” Shetland the face is similar perhaps the nose is slightly longer, it lives in a similar environment to our Shetland rougher grass and heather and grazes on the seaweed. It does very well in these conditions there is not a lot of eating to be had of our peerie Shetland it does have a very distinctive taste, they are ideal mothers and need little attention at lambing.
Shetland is not in the wool marketing board we roll our fleece staple side outward and roll from the hips to the neck which means the finest of the wool is seen by the grader.
If you take a peerie Shetland ewe on the native hill and put it into a richer greener pasture the handle of the wool changes it becomes a bit bulkier.
If you want any more information on Shetland sheep and wool you can look up my blogs on my life with sheep and wool at olivershetlandwoolblog.home.
It is very good to see you are trying to save one of the older sheep breeds, if you remember the Manx Loaghtan was saved from extension.
Let me know if you require anymore information.