Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand

Rare Breeds Fibre

Stewart Island Sheep

Hand spun, hand dyed and hand knitted fingerless mittens made from Stewart Island wool.

These badger faced sheep have a very unique ‘pre-industrial revolution’ fleece. The staple length is not uniform across the whole fleece but varies quite significantly. The fineness of the fleece with its intense crimp suggests a Merino-influenced origin.

The staple is quite short and machine carding, rather than hand carding, is recommended. It can be spun and knitted or crocheted. The result is a very warm garment with lots of loft.

However, Stewart Island wool felts beautifully. The felt is soft and bouncy and wonderful to work with.

Stewart Island Fleece
Staple from a Stewart Island Fleece.
Making felt
Layering Stewart Island rovings to make felt.
Making felt
Securing the layered rovings
with a few stitches.
Making felt
The finished felt, ready to get creative with it – maybe as soles for slippers.

  Fibre Introduction  

  Breeders Directory  

  Stewart Island sheep page  

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