Black Wensleydale (50g)
A very rare opportunity to buy the finest quality Black Wensleydale combed top!
Although referred to as Black Wensleydales – the colour is natural and will vary from silver to jet black. Lambs are generally born black or charcoal grey. The darker fleeces have a tendency to ‘grey’ with age as a result of the appearance of white fibres and the tips of the staples weather to a golden brown or beige. This variation in colour within each staple is particularly valuable to hand spinners and textile artists making the wool highly sought after and of premium value.
This is a very rare product which FibreHut are pleased to be able to offer for sale from a flock of incredibly rare slaughter free Black Wensleydale sheep at Home Farm on the border of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.
- THIS ITEM IS PRICED PER 50 GRAMS
You may not have used pure Wensleydale Combed Top before as the majority is blended with other Longwools and so I am sure you will be delighted with the quality of this pure product. Incredibly soft, very clean and totally genuine - feels like silk!
Home Farm Wensleydales have been breeding black and white Wensleydale sheep since 2009.
Black Wensleydale numbers are slowly increasing due to the high demand for this incredibly rare wonderful naturally coloured wool. By 'incredibly rare' we mean that there are only around 350 registered Black Wensleydale sheep worldwide. This will make up only around 1000kg of pure Black Wensleydale worldwide! We are delighted to have 100 registered Black Wensleydales on our farm, together with 100 Black Wethers and the flock is still growing. We collect and save our wool over a few years before processing. You can be sure that our wool is pure Black Wensleydale and there are no other fibres added to this incredible rare single breed yarn.
The Breed Association
A separate register is maintained by the Breed Association in the flock book for coloured Wensleydales which occur naturally as a result of a double recessive black gene (this is not exclusive to the Wensleydale). Since the coloured register was commenced in 1994 the number of black ewe lambs registered with the Association has been volatile – in 1999 there were 88 registrations but these have declined in recent years. Some white animals carry one recessive black gene and mating two such sheep can produce coloured lambs from an apparently all white flock. These lambs are registered in the coloured register and the dam and sire must also be transferred out of the white flock. When the demand for wool was at its peak it was common for black lambs to be culled to prevent the valuable clip becoming ‘polluted’ with coloured fibres and to protect the reputation of breeders.
However, these lambs born out of white flocks have now become very important as they widen the gene pool for coloured breeders – in 1999 breeding rams were registered from 13 flocks but by 2009 this had declined to 6 flocks. A surprising increase in 2018! 20 breeding flocks registering 63 female and 29 male black lambs and 7 breeding rams. 20 of the above are from the Home Farm flock.
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