I have a fetish for all things fluffy, soft, and furry, but you already know that if you have been around this blog for very long. Though my initial interest in the Gotland breed of sheep did not begin with a love of their fiber, it has quickly won a place in my heart.
Gotland sheep have long, lustrous fiber. It hangs in well defined curls that melt in your hand when you touch them. The fleece has a micron count of between 20 and 32. A fleece may grow to 10 to 12 inches in length in one year, however most Gotland shepherds shear them twice a year. The fine fleece has a tendency to slightly felt in the winter months, thus requiring a twice a year shearing.
My little Gotland ewes arrived to our farm with very short fleeces. They had been sheared in the early fall. They were covered in tiny little curls just beginning to form. Now, after having a month of cold Vermont winter weather to stimulate the growth, their fleeces have grown. You can see the long ringlets of curls starting to fall, especially around their necks.