Susan Withnell,  1191 Long Valley Road,  Westminster,  Maryland, U.S.A., 21158
Telephone -
410-876-0683      eMail -

Fiber Animals

        In addition to sheep, , fibers can be obtained from many natural animal and plant sources; fibers are harvested from creatures such as camels, yaks, llamas, alpacas, goats, dogs, silkworms, and also from plants such as flax, cotton, and bamboo, all of which have provided raw materials for fiber workers, down through the centuries.  In our modern age, industrial technology has allowed the development of synthetic fibers including nylon, polyester, and rayon, to name only a few.

        Sheep have been domesticated for thousands of years; they are an important part of many bible stories attesting to their importance in the lives of the people of that time.   It is from sheep that the luxuriant and wonderful fiber known as merino wool, is obtained.

        I maintain my own flock of sheep which are raised and cared for to provide wool for my needs. My sheep are high percentage Border Leicester cross and grow a fleece of up to 8 inches staple length each year but, I choose to shear every six months, to obtain a more manageable staple length of three to four inches.  Border Leicester fleece has a very characteristic "pencil curl" to it, as opposed to the fine crimp of other sheep breeds, such as merino.  The wool is high luster, strong enough to make a good sock yarn, yet soft enough to wear as a sweater or scarf.

        Also, I have a herd of angora rabbits, which produce ultra-fine angora wool. Angora rabbit fiber is eight times warmer than sheep's wool, and extremely soft and fuzzy !   Often, Angora rabbit fiber is blended with other fibers to reduce the warmth factor of the angora while increasing the softness of the finished yarn.


My Angora rabbitry is named "Storybook Dreams"; to learn more, click here.

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