Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand

Rare Breeds Fibre

Gotland Pelt Sheep

Suri fibre
Jumper made from Gotland fleece

As the name suggests – these sheep have been selectively bred for their wool – which is soft, crimped, has a lovely lustre and usually a long staple. Gotland fleeces are a favourite with spinners, felters and crafters and there are many small flocks of these sheep around the country now. A recent importation of improved Swedish genetics will only increase the popularity of these fleeces.

Garments made from Gotland wool have a similarly soft feel and fluffy appearance as garments made from alpaca fibre. To many people it comes as a surprise how warm a garment made from untreated wool feels.

The photograph on the right shows a jumper made from a moderately matted raw Gotland Pelt fleece which was purchased off a breeder. The owner carded and spun the wool herself, then knitted the jumper. She says that wearing it feels like wearing a hug.

The main problem with Gotland fleeces is that they easily mat if the sheep are not shorn at the right time. Once a fleece has started to mat it is almost impossible to card it. A matted fleece comes off the sheep in one piece and holds together very well.

Gotland fleeces come in a range of colours from silvery grey to almost black. While the tips of some fleeces may have a brownish tinge, giving the sheep a brown appearance, once carded and spun, the yarn will resemble the under colour of the fleece.

Close-up of the knitted Gotland garment
Close-up of the knitted Gotland garment.
 
Gotland wool
Gotland wool shorn at the right time
Gotland fleece
Hopelessly matted Gotland fleece
 
Gotland fleece
Spinning Gotland fleece

  Fibre Introduction  

  Breeders Directory  

  Gotland Pelt breed  

Thanks to Marina Steinke for supplying the information and photographs for this page.
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2020