The Field Guide to Fleece: 100 Sheep Breeds & How to Use Their Fibers

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Which wool is right for your project, and what might you do with that big bag of luscious fleece that catches your eye at the fiber festival? The answers to your questions are always at your fingertips in this portable reference to the fleece characteristics of 100 sheep breeds.

For each breed, you'll find:...

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The Field Guide to Fleece: 100 Sheep Breeds & How to Use Their Fibers

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Which wool is right for your project, and what might you do with that big bag of luscious fleece that catches your eye at the fiber festival? The answers to your questions are always at your fingertips in this portable reference to the fleece characteristics of 100 sheep breeds.

For each breed, you'll find:

The best way to prepare the fleece for spinning

The natural colors of the fleece and how well it takes dyes

Best uses for the wool

Fleece weights, staple lengths, and fiber diameters

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Robson and Ekarius (coauthors, The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun) pack a wealth of content about sheep and wool into this guide. Along with each sheep breed listed, from the well known (Merino, Corriedale) to the rare (Santa Cruz, Castlemilk Moorit), the authors supply color photographs of the sheep and of a lock of its wool. Specifications helpful for spinners, such as staple length, fiber diameter, fleece weight, and effects of dyes, are also provided. Knitters and weavers will find the suggested uses for each breed's wool valuable, as some wools lend themselves to specific types of garments or accessories. VERDICT This pocket-size guide is perfect for spinners and other fiber enthusiasts who want quick information on the characteristics of a wide variety of fleeces and would be a worthwhile book to have on hand at a fiber festival.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612121789
  • Publisher: Storey Books
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Pages: 232
  • Sales rank: 264,813
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Ekarius is the co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook and the author of several books, including Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep (with Paula Simmons), Small-Scale Livestock Farming, Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds, and  Storey’s Illustrated Breed Guide to Sheep, Goats, Cattle, and Pigs. She lives in the mountains of Colorado where her four-legged and winged family keeps her busy. 

Deborah Robson is co-author of The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook and Knitting in the Old Way. She is a former editor of both Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot and Spin-Off magazine, and she is currently the editor and publisher of Nomad Press, which publishes books on traditional and ethnic knitting and spinning. Robson is also an artist, working in textiles, printmaking, and oils. She lives in Colorado with her daughter.

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Table of Contents

A Love Affair with Wool

American Miniature Cheviot

Arcotts: Canadian, Outaouais, and Rideau

Badger Face Welsh Mountain

Balwen Welsh Mountain

Beulah Speckled Face

Black Welsh Mountain

Bleu du Maine

Bluefaced Leicester


Border Leicester


Brecknock Hill Cheviot

British Milk Sheep

California Red


Castlemilk Moorit



Clun Forest








Dartmoor Greyface

Dartmoor Whiteface


DeLaine Merino

Derbyshire Gritstone

Devon and Cornwall Longwool

Devon Closewool

Dorset Down

Dorset Horn

Dorset Poll (Polled Dorset)

East Friesian

Est a Laine Merino

Exmoor Horn






Gulf Coast Native

Gute or Gutefar

Hampshire Down



Hill Radnor

Hog Island




Karakul, American

Kerry Hill

Leicester Longwool

Lincoln Longwool




Manx Loaghtan



Navajo Churro

Norfolk Horn

North Country Cheviot

North Ronaldsay


Oxford Down








Romeldale and CVM


Rouge de l'Ouest

Rough Fell



Santa Cruz

Scottish Blackface





Spaelsau (New)

Spaelsau (Old)

Stansborough Grey






Tunis, American


Welsh Hill Speckled Face

Welsh Mountain and South Wales Mountain


Whitefaced Woodland


In Case You're Curious




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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2013

    At first, I was disappointed. I had somehow missed the fact that

    At first, I was disappointed. I had somehow missed the fact that this was pocket sized and was expecting a large book, more like a magazine sized book. However, as I sat down and flipped through this, I was extremely happy with it. As someone who does hand spinning (with a drop spindle), I was thrilled to have something I could take with me to fleece and fiber shows. I've started storing small bits of fleeces in the book as well, so I can compare what I have to what I'm looking at (and what the authors say). I also own the Fleece and Fiber Source Book, and am happy to have both. This is great for grab and go and quick reference, while the Source Book has more breeds, but also a little more depth (and non-sheep breeds). Highly recommend this.

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  • Posted October 11, 2013

    Very Highly Recommend

    This book is absolutely essential for people who shop for fiber and/or fleece to spin. It is also useful for fiber artists who have specific needs in their work. Wool is not just wool and a fleece is not just a fleece. Made to fit in a purse or large pocket I now keep it with me whenever I think I might meet fiber, fleece or even wool. Do you want to know which wool is meant for the skin and which is meant for the floor ? Do you care where it is long or short fibered ?
    Knowing the breed will tell you everything you need to know about the fiber - as long as you have this book at hand.

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