Wensleydale sheep are a very unique breed in that they can trace their lineage back to a single sheep. Born of a Teeswater ewe and a New Leicester ram Bluecap was born in 1839. Bluecap got his name for the same recessive quality that BFL get their name from, the signature blue face. The Wensleydale and Teeswater still share many similarities; they both have very long wavy curly locks with a brilliant luster and a very fine fiber diameter for such a long wool. The differences between the two breeds are minor but very distinct. The Wensleydale produce a slightly more supple fiber with a touch more sheen while the Teeswater have a more pronounced bolder presence.
Staple Length:
8-12 inches
30-36 microns (44s-50s)
Dyers Notes:
Wensleydale being a long wool similar to Romney takes dye in a very similar way resulting in a sheen like an"egg shell" finish in house hold paints and a thorough and even saturation of color.
Spinners Notes:
Although Wensleydale has a very long staple length and a nice thick fiber diameter it is not suited to the beginner because of the control needed to spin it loosely. If spun too tightly the fiber can become very wiry and harsh to work with, however, if spun correctly it can yield a very strong yet delicate yarn perfect for shawls.