Specializing in top quality Jacob fleeces
At Barking Rock Farm, our sheep have been carefully bred and selected for generations to produce quality handspinning fleeces. If you're a spinner and have never tried a Jacob fleece before, we urge you to give one a try! The multi-colored yarns you can produce from one fleece are not only fun to spin, but make the most incredibly variegated or patterned finished pieces. Please do keep in mind that the Jacob breed has one of the widest natural variations in fleece type of any breed of sheep...and not all Jacob fleeces are necessarily pleasant to spin and/or use for garments. If you have had a bad experience with Jacob wool in the past, please consider trying one of our quality fleeces. We feel certain you'll be pleasantly surprised!
We skirt our Jacob fleeces for sale as we do fleeces for our own use! Virtually all the wool you'll get will be usable...no manure tags, belly wool, heavily contaminated wool, etc. Such skirted fleeces usually weigh between 3 and 5 lbs. Jacob wool carries relatively light grease, so you should get a good yield from the washed fleece.
Please remember that weights listed are approximate. Fleeces are weighed at shearing time, and will gain or lose weight, depending upon humidity levels in storage. All fleeces naturally lose weight when washed. Staple is measured at rest, and length may increase as much 50% when stretched.
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June 2019 Fleeces Available:
Barking Rock Ella - 2.7 pound fleece; 4 inch very sound staple. Ella is approx. 40% black. Nice hand, consistent top-quality soft fleece with good color separation. Price: $34 + shipping
Barking Rock Zoe - 2.8 pound fleece with 4.5 inch staple. Zoe is a somewhat delicate individual, who spends most of her time in the barn. She was a bottle baby who's job is baby-sitting weaned lambs because she is no longer producing lambs of her own. Although there are no breaks in her wool per se, the fleece tends to be a bit tender. Zoe is approx. 40% black. Price: $20 + shipping.
NEW! clean, professionally carded wool from our Jacob flock!
Natural Jacob carded wool spins into a beautiful variegated yarn! The yarn, in turn works up into a lovely tweedy finished item. All spinning fiber is identified by individual animal name. Can also be used for felt making or needle felting.
NOTE ABOUT SHIPPING CHARGES: WE CHARGE ACTUAL USPS PRICE FOR SHIPPING, which will vary depending upon fleece weight and your location; (add 1# for packaging.)
You'll need to know this price when ordering, or course; but we'll be glad to forward a no-obligation quote. PLEASE DROP US AN EMAIL, letting us know which fleece(s) you want. Please BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR ZIP CODE. We accept payment via money order, Paypal, or Visa/Mastercard.
Next shearing - June 2020.
Facts about Wool Grading
We get a lot of questions about grades of wool, and offer the following information which we hope will help clear up some confusion! Jacob wool grades from 40's to 54's, a very broad range indeed for one breed! Our selected fleeces tend towards the higher end of this scale.
Over the years, several systems have evolved to classify the various grades (or thicknesses) of different wools. To understand these various measurements, it's essential to understand how the different systems came to be.
Originally wool was was graded by the blood system, with a Merino (a breed of sheep producing the finest of wools) considered to be "fine". Theoretically then, a half-blood wool would be comparable to what one would obtain from an individual sheep that was one-half Merino. It's important to keep in mind that this does NOT mean that a 1/2-blood fleece is necessarily half Merino; but rather the fleece is akin to the type a half-Merino would produce.
The USDA grade is a measurement of the number of theoretical 560-yard hanks that can be spun from a specific wool. Hence, one pound of 70's grade wool could produce 70 560-yard hanks of yarn. A finer wool can spin a finer yarn, and so the finer the wool the more hanks a pound could make and the higher the USDA grade.
The newest and most accurate method of grading wool is simply to measure its diameter, and that is exactly what a micron count is. The smaller the micro count, the finer the wool.
Here's a scale that correlates the three grading systems: *
American Wool Council Official Standards for the US for Grades of Wool
It's important to bear in mind that virtually no fleeces except the very finest are thoroughly consistent in fiber diameter throughout. The best wool can always be found on the neck/back area; the shortest wool on the legs, head and belly (this should be removed during skirting), and the coarsest on the rump and back legs. Generally, the coarser wools have the longest fibers.
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