Friday, 26 November 2010

Fibres: Jacob Sheep

It is thought that Jacob sheep arrived in Britain from the Middle East (via Spain) in the 16th Century. They are very attractive animals and were often kept in English parks as ornamental animals.
Their fleece is black and white patched and fades to brown and white the older they get. They usually have 2-4 horns but can have up to 6 horns and are found in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.

Working with Jacob fibres
The fibres are open and lofty and can have a moderately developed crimp. The dual tones of the fleece allows endless possibilities of playing around with black and white tones when spinning.

I bought a fleece not long ago and am spinning it into yarn for a nice sweater for John, who is in charge of the carding. It has a lovely fluffy texture and is easy to draft for spinning.

Have you ever worked with Jacobs sheep? Comment and let me know!

Jacob Sheep Society - UK
Jacob SHeep Conservancy - US
Jacob Sheep Breeders Association - US

The images in this post are copyright of Eddie Roued-Cunliffe. You are hereby granted permission to use them for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit Eddie and link back to this page. If you are using them and talking about this post I would love to hear from you in the comments.


  1. I am spinning a Jacob fleece at the moment. I spin "in the grease", which means I just tug a lug, comb it, and spin. It is only after plying and winding into hanks that I actually scour the wool ready for knitting. Out of one fleece I get plain white, plain brown yarns, and ply one brown strand with one white one to get a nice effect. The wool spins a treat, and knits up nicely. This affords me the chance to knit colours without dying.
    (The fleece I have on hand at the moment seems very big and I thought "struth this sheep has been crossed with an elephant" when it came in the post)!!!

  2. I understand what you mean Sandra. The Jacobs fleece is huge. I bought one a while ago which I am spinning into a sweater for my husband. I haven't tried plying the brown and white together but I am sure it looks great. My brown is more grey anyway.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.


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