Gotland sheep have one of the most lustrous silky fibers of any sheep breed in the world.
It is this unique wool that attracts many people to Gotland sheep.
Gotland wool is fine, long, lustrous and dense. It can be varying shades of grey, from pale silver to a rich blue-gray to a dark charcoal or almost black. (GSBANA also recognizes white and brown Gotlands.) Typically, their fleeces do not discolor due to sun exposure. The fleece grows in long, fine, and lustrous distinctive curls. Soft to the touch, the smooth silky curls feel clean, having little lanolin. The fleece is typically 29 to 34 microns in diameter. Lambs wool can be in the low to mid 20’s micron range. Gotland wool falls in soft ringlets and grows about 10 to 12 inches a year.
Working with Gotland Wool
Felting-Gotland wool felts easily, creating a smooth, strong surface. The curls may be used as fringe or embellishments in the felted items. Gotland wool is often referred to as, the “felter’s favorite”.
Knitting-Gotland wool yarn knits into a light and delicate fabric with a lovely drape. It has a soft halo, giving it a subtle warmth and loftiness. The lustrous sheen brings out the natural gray tones in the wool. The wide range of shades of gray allow for interesting color palettes when over-dyed.
Spinning-Gotland wool is desired by handspinners for its long length and soft handle.
Pelts-In Sweden, artists turn the Gotland pelts into amazing pieces of clothing, from hats and mittens, to vests and jackets. Pelts with long wool are used for making pillows, rugs, and throws.