The Fiber Files

The Fiber is Out There

Episode 2 – Clun Forest



RMNCSA meeting

What’s on the Wheel?

Willow – Jacob fleece – Owlhead Farms
Three Bags Full 2009 Roving available at Carolina Homespun
Hand Processing using St. Blaise Combs – Paca – CVM Silver Grey fleece – Windy Hill Farms

Desperate Longing

Baxter the Ram fleece from Sheepfeathers Farm
Darkness batts from Corgi Hill Farms

Prime Investigation

Clun Forest
Down wool breed with a long history
Ancient breed from south Britain and Welsh forests
Underwent “improvement” as many breeds did in the 18th century to become the breed we know today.
A very important sheep in Britain for meat production, milk and cheese, as well as fiber.
Entered the US in 1970 with Tony Turner and later Angus Rouse in Canada
Breed Characteristics
Very good mothers with easy lambing and lots of milk
Good foragers on grassland alone
Very responsive sheep that handles well
Long lived ewes that continue to produce
Consistent, easy to spin fleece that is always white
The Wool:
The sheep have dark brown faces and legs with a white fleece that should be free of kemp and color.
Medium sized fleeces that are not greasy or sticky.
Locks are blunt ended with little to no taper.
Staple length of around 2.5 to 4 inches long with a disorganized crimp characteristic of down breeds
The wool is highly elastic and fairly soft with a Bradford count of 56-58 and a micron count of 25-28um.
Best prep is a woolen style such as carding.  Locks can also be flicked and spun directly.
When spun it is very springy and loves to be spun woolen.  Of course spinning style is the spinner’s choice and can be done as worsted if desired.
Clun Forest is especially good for socks, mittens, and gloves.
Interview of Mary Gloster of Rocky Top Farms
In Sheep’s Clothing: A Handspinner’s Guide to Wool by Nola and Jane Fournier
Fiber Basics: Clun Forest, Carol Huebshcer Rhoades in Interweave Spin Off Spring 2009
posted under Show Notes
One Comment to

“Episode 2 – Clun Forest”

  1. Avatar February 21st, 2010 at 9:24 pm Tina Says:

    Love your podcast and look forward to hearing more!