Wool Breed: Suffolk


Image from www.raisingsheep.net

History: The Suffolk sheep became a recognized breed in 1810 from crossing Southdown rams with old-style Norfolk Horn ewes per the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook. The first documented import to North America was made in 1888.

Fleece Facts:

Size:  Ram: 275-400 pounds  Ewe: 200-300 pounds

Horns: Hornless

Fleece Weight:  4-8 pounds (1.8-3.6 kg)

Staple Length: 2-3.5 inches (5-7 cm)

Fiber Diameters:  46s to 58s by the Bradford count, 26-33 micron count.

Coloring: White.  There may be some black fibers, as these sheep have colored faces.  Any off-color fibers lower the commercial value of the wool per the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook.

Spinning:  Keep the drafting light and moderate twist to preserve loftiness.

Note: My 1 oz. sample from Woolgatherings is a grey Suffolk.  There is information in the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook that states there is a processed fiber sold as “grey Suffolk” that demonstrates few of the qualities that characterize Suffolk wool.  It goes on to say: Spinners who use it should not make assumptions about Suffolk based on their experiences with this fiber.

Good to know.  I will need to find some “true” Suffolk for sampling.

Off to read an old post by Deb Robson regarding this…I’m sure to share.

Until next time…



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