Corriedale wool comes from this lovely large sheep pictured here. I met this fine specimen at the Estes Park Wool Market and it posed so nicely for me I just had to let you know a little more about the characteristics of this wonderful wool.
This fine breed hails originally from Australia and New Zealand where farmers decided to cross Merino ewes with Lincoln or Leicester males. They say it is now the second most popular breed worldwide, after Merino. These sheep are now raised worldwide.
Although this breed is sometimes used for its' meat it is gaining popularity for its' fine fleeces too. The fleece is densely packed but each fiber is thicker than its' Merino counterpart. Each fleece from a full grown ewe can weigh up to 17 pounds. Imagine all that yummy fiber from just one sheep!
As far as the technicalities of the fibers go, typically this breed will grow a very heavy fleece, which is very even in length with a bright luster. By the way this breed should always be white. Any colored wool means a problem.
It is classed as a long staple length and has a definite crimp, which is great for spinning. It has a soft feel and the sheep looks very evenly rounded rather than shaggy. The average micron count for fibers is between 25 and 32.
The fiber itself is perfect for needle felting due to the fiber diameter and the springy texture. It is easier for the needle barbs to catch on corriedale fibers than it is for Merino, but I use both in my needle felting.
Corriedale can also be used for wet felting, but it is better blended with a faster felter like Lincoln or Merino. Adding Corriedale to a wet felted project helps to slow the felting process giving you more control over the final result. It also tends to make the final project a little more bulky.
So - there you have a little more information about Corriedale wool.
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