Fine spinning is easy with the long-staple, soft fibers of Finnsheep wool. We offer hand-combed top, both raw and washed, in roving or stacked for use with a distaff (as well as private fiber arts lessons!) to meet your custom fiber needs.
Finnsheep produce a variety of colors of wool, from white to silver to brown to black. Those who like to dye their wool often prefer white fibers, since the dye pigments show up better, but silver/grey wool makes lovely colors when dyed as well. Of course, the natural colors can be left as they are, and will never wash out or "bleed" like dye.
At Mosby's, we use handheld shears (not electric clippers) to gently remove a full year's growth of wool from each sheep in springtime. The sheep learn to anticipate this haircut every year, and react with relief when their heavy winter coat comes off. We work with the sheep one at a time, and teach them to lay down for the shearing, to keep them calm and comfortable. Because we shear only once a year, we preserve the full, natural staple length of the wool, as well as avoiding the unnecessary stress of fall shearing for the sheep, who need that wool in winter.
As a heritage landrace breed, Finnsheep have a range of wool traits. This means that any individual Finnsheep may have heavier, coarser wool fibers, or finer, more lustrous wool, depending on their particular genetic makeup. All sheep also have a range within their own fleece; the finest, softest wool is carried around their shoulders and neck, while the coarsest comes in around their legs and rump. Thus, a whole fleece will supply a variety of types of wool for numerous different projects. The finer wools, when spun "worsted," are soft enough to wear against bare skin, while coarser wools make fluffy socks, hats, scarves, and blankets. The coarse wool also felts beautifully, and woven cloth fulls easily--excellent for historical reproduction and modern uses alike.
With an average staple length between 5" to 7" and excellent luster, combed Finnsheep top makes wonderful worsted thread for weaving, embroidery or lace. If spun "in the grease," this wool typically needs no sizing for use as warp. The natural lanolin washes out of the woven product and leaves a brilliant white wool that takes dye beautifully.
Draped on a distaff and ready to spin!
Weaving on an inkle loom with fine-spun Finnsheep warp threads.
After weaving "in the grease" (with the natural lanolin present), the wool is washed and turns bright white, soft and fluffy, ready for dye.
To order wool, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and specify your needs. We can provide raw fleece, raw combed fiber (in roving or prepped for distaff), washed combed fiber, washed carded rolags, or small washed carded batts for felting. The wool is sold by weight and priced according to quality and labor. Combed raw wool, for example, is $24 for a quarter-pound bag. If you have questions about your planned project, we can help you select the correct fiber preparation for your needs.
We offer private lessons! Don't hesitate to contact us for help learning to comb, card, spin or weave. We also have a variety of handmade fiber arts tools, including spindles, distaffs and weaving tablets. Have a commission in mind? Email us!