What are the best breeds of sheep for wool? With more than 200 sheep breeds in the world, it is hard to know which best suits your needs. For those who want to produce high-quality wool, there are a few key qualities that they need to be looking for. We will talk about these qualities and provide an overview of some of the best breeds below.
One of the most popular breeds for wool is the Debouillet Sheep. They are known to produce a fine, soft fiber with excellent crimp and cover. This breed was developed in Idaho by crossing Rambouillet rams on California Red ewes. As a result, they have strong flocking instincts, which make them easy to manage. They are also good mothers who produce large, healthy lambs each year and debouillet sheep wool production is much higher than its other counterparts.
Booroola Merino Sheep
The Booroola Merinos have long been known for their soft wool that is highly sought after by the textile industry. Their average staple length is between 16 to 19 inches with a micron count of around 24 to 31 (the lower the number, the finer and softer it will be). This breed was first brought to Australia in 1826. Booroola Merino Sheep thrived on Australian farms because they were able to adapt easily without requiring much care or attention. Since then, they have become very popular among farmers due to not only their ability to survive harsh conditions but also their high demand for their wool.
The Cormo Sheep is known for its silky soft quality. This breed was developed in Australia by crossing Corriedale rams on Merino ewes. The result is a thick, strong fiber that has very little crimp and excellent spinning qualities. They are not as popular as other breeds, but they do produce fine to medium wool, which makes them perfect for garments like sweaters or hats due to their luxurious feel against the skin!
The Comeback Sheep is a cross between the St. Croix and Merino breeds, which was developed in response to breeders wanting high-quality, fine wool without shearing their sheep every year. The result is an animal that has many of the same qualities as the St. Croix because it produces clean fiber with few medullated fibers. On top of that they are better mothers than most other breeds due to being part Merino!
The Bond Sheep is a cross between Rambouillet and Suffolk. They were developed in the 1960s to provide farmers with large, strong animals that produce heavy fleece for their size. Their wool comes in around 23 microns which makes it ideal for carpets or rugs due to its durability!
The Polwarth sheep are a cross between the Corriedale and Lincoln sheep breeds. They were developed in Australia from 1860 to 1905 but have been used more recently for their hybrid vigor, which allows them to perform well under different conditions, produce fine wool with no coarse hairs, and maintain excellent fleece weights!
The Teeswater Sheep is a UK native that produces one of the longest staple fibers in the world. Their average length is around 32 inches, and they produce fleece weights between 11 to 16 pounds!
Finish Landrace Sheep
The Finish Landrace Sheep is a Nordic breed that thrives in the cold due to its long, thick wool. Their staple length averages around 30 inches, which makes them well suited for producing heavy clothing like sweaters or coats!
The Wensleydale Sheep is a UK native that produces long, lustrous wool. They are one of the oldest breeds in England and have been documented since 1180! Their average staple length is 24 to 28 inches with micron counts between 30 to 40, which makes them ideal for heavy clothing like coats or sweaters due to their softness against the skin!
The Borderdale Sheep is a hybrid of Hampshire and Suffolk, which was developed in Australia. They are known for their high-quality wool that comes at an average staple length between 20 to 24 inches with micron counts around 27 to 30! These sheep do well in nearly all climates, but they produce very little meat, so most farmers keep them solely for their fleece.
The Bluefaced Leicester is a UK native that was developed in the mid-1800s from Lincoln, Cotswold, and Teeswater sheep breeds. They have been bred to produce high-quality fiber, which has become sought-after by hand spinners for its softness and shines! Their average staple length comes out at around 28 inches with micron counts between 21 to 30 (the lower the number, the finer it will be), making them perfect for garments like scarves or sweaters due to their durability against wear and tear!
The Swaledale Sheep is another UK breed that thrives in cold climates thanks to their long, thick wool. This fleece can also be found on some of today’s popular breeds like the Icelandic sheep due to its high quality! They have an average staple length of 26 inches and produce some of the finest wool in existence at 20-22 microns.
The Delaine-Merino Sheep is purebred Merino sheep that was developed in Australia. The wool comes at a staple length of 22 to 24 inches and has micron counts around 17 or less, which makes it perfect for garments like dresses, scarves, sweaters, socks, hats, etc., because the fibers are very fine! They do well in nearly all climates but need extra care during the shearing time due to their extremely thin skin.
The Panama Sheep is a very recent development from New Zealand and Australia. They were developed in the 1950s with the intent of producing high-quality meat as well as wool (unlike most other breeds that only produce one or the other). Their staple length comes at around 24 inches, but their fiber has an average micron count between 17 to 25, which makes it soft yet durable enough for garments like coats!
Gulf Coast Native Sheep
The Gulf Coast Native Sheep is another US native breed that was used by many people such as settlers, ranchers, and seamen because they can survive nearly anywhere! This also means they don’t require much care, so if you’re looking for a pet sheep, this might be your best bet since they’ll keep themselves healthy! Their staple length averages around 22 to 24 inches with micron counts between 20 and 28, which makes it great for clothing like sweaters, hats, scarves, etc.
The Rambouillet Sheep is a French breed that has been used for its wool since the 17th century. They are known as one of the finest sheep breeds in existence because they produce some of the longest, highest-quality fibers! Their staple length comes at around 30 inches with micron counts between 21 to 28, which makes it perfect for garments like coats or sweaters due to its durability and softness against the skin (but make sure not to use any harsh detergents on them!)
American Cormo Sheep
The American Cormo Sheep is another US breed that was developed in the early 1990s. They were specifically bred to produce high-quality wool at a low micron count (15-18), which makes it perfect for garments like hats, scarves, sweaters, etc.! These sheep do well in nearly all climates, and their staple length averages around 26 inches with some reaching 32 inches long!
Cotwolds are part of an English family of longwool breeds called Leicesters, Lincolns, and Woolson. The distinction between these families can be very subjective; they may appear different but have similar performance under common management conditions. Cotwolds are docile animals that shed their woolly coats in the spring. They are one of the oldest British breeds, having been recognized by name since at least 1346. Their staple length averages around 18 inches with micron counts between 20 to 22, which makes it perfect for sweaters or other garments due to its durability against wear and tear!
Shetlands are also members of that family but have a slightly higher average wool quality than Cotswolds (18-20 instead of 18-22). Like Cotwolds, they were developed on small isolated islands where their long history has led them down many paths toward different types. Some authorities classify several types as separate breeds while others consider all varieties within this breed group; there is no agreement among authors about how many types exist. Their staple length comes at around 18 inches with micron counts between 20 to 22, which makes it perfect for sweaters or other garments due to its durability against wear and tear!
The Corriedale was developed by crossing Leicester Longwool rams with Merino ewes, then breeding back to the long wool sires. The resulting offspring were more square in build than the original merinos and also had higher fertility rates. They are known for their high-quality fiber, which is longer than other breeds at around 28 inches! Their staple length comes at between 19-23 microns but can reach up to 30 or even 40 microns depending on the year, making it perfect for garments like coats due to its durability against wear and tear!
The Romney is another US breed that was developed in the early 1800s. They were created by crossing Cotswold, Leicester Longwool, and Southdown breeds to create a hardy sheep with high-quality wool! Their staple length comes at around 22 inches with micron counts between 19-25 making it perfect for garments like hats or coats due to its durability against wear and tear!
The Columbia was developed in the 1950s by crossing Rambouillet rams with Corriedale ewes. The resulting offspring produced a fleece that had a long staple length (24 to 30 inches) and good crimp, which gives it elasticity. Their staple length comes at between 24-30 microns but can reach up to 40 or even 50 microns depending on the year, making it perfect for garments like coats due to its durability against wear and tear!
Icelandic Sheep are known for having dense wool that is great at insulating them from cold weather since it has high lanolin content, which makes it water repellent ー perfect for Iceland! The fleece on an Icelandic Sheep is so tightly packed together that when you pull one strand out, another will come along with it making it easy to remove ー; this trait comes in handy when being sheared every year or two because is little risk of cutting the sheep.
Lincoln Sheep is a breed of domestic sheep originating from the United Kingdom. Lincoln Sheep were first bred for meat but later transitioned to wool production and can still be used as such today. These animals have an open face with hair that is medium long ー just right for spinning into yarns!
Polypay Sheep are a breed of sheep that were developed in the United States. These animals have an open face and white wool, which makes them perfect for dyeing! The fiber from these sheep has been described as ”silky, soft, lofty with good crimp ー making it ideal for spinning into yarns or felting.
Southdown Sheep are a breed of sheep originating from the South Downs in south-central England. These animals have an open face and medium-length hair, which makes them perfect for dyeing! The wool on these animals is dense, crimpy with slight luster making it great at insulating when spun into yarns ー. This comes in handy if you live somewhere cold!
Suffolk Sheep are a breed of sheep originating from Suffolk, England. These animals have open faces with long hair that is perfect for dyeing! The wool on these sheep has been described as ”fine and short,” ー making it easy to spin into yarns or felt.
Targhee sheep are a breed of sheep originating from the United States. The wool on these animals is described as ”dense and crimpy,” ー, making it great for spinning into yarns or felt! Targets have an open face with long hair, which makes them perfect if you want to dye your own favorite colors!
Leicester Longwool Sheep
Leicester Longwool Sheep are a breed of sheep originating from the United Kingdom. These animals have an open face with long hair, which makes them perfect for dyeing! The wool on these sheep has been described as ”dense, crimpy and lustrous,” ー making it great at insulating when spun into yarns if you live somewhere cold or spinning into felt!
Finnsheep is a breed of sheep originating from Finland. The wool on these animals is described as ”dense, crimpy and lustrous,” ー making it great at insulating if you live somewhere cold or spinning into felt! Finns have an open face with white hair, which makes them perfect for dyeing!