As I spin my fiber, I have thoroughly enjoyed researching each breed for a deeper understanding and even respect for them , along with the people and organizations that protect and breed each one. Whilst I find snippets of information all over the place, I found this website on the commercial cleaning of Zwartbles Fleece just amazing.
Sunday, 3 March 2013
The Zwartbles, meaning black with a white blaze, is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the Friesland region of The Netherlands. Developed from 2 native Dutch sheep being Friesian Milk sheep and Drenthe, they were often kept alongside dairy cattle herds. Traditionally used for both milk and meat in the Netherlands, they declined significantly in use, primarily due to changes in Dutch dairying practices, until listed as critically rare by the Dutch Rare Breed Survival trust in the mid-1970s. They were introduced into Britain where they easily adapted in the 1980’s and Ireland some 20 years later, increasing numbers and popularity.
They are a black/brown fleece with white facial blaze, 2 - 4 white socks, and a white tipped, traditionally undocked tail. They are a relatively large sheep with a dense fleece.
My spinning Experience. Reflecting back upon my notes taken at the time I just wrote Holey moley, is this fiber the sproingiest fiber ever? ♥ Not super soft but a really, really enjoyable spin. The fiber has quite amazing crimp with an intense black natural colour. Zwartbles will provide you a fabulous spinning experience and resulting yarn well suited to a very special cardi should you have enough. My princess scale gives Zwartbles 5 crowns on the spinning experience and 3 for next to skin soft.