Saturday, June 12, 2010

Double-Coated Fleece Photo

There is much debate going on in NASSA (the Shetland Sheep registry I am a member of) about fleece length, softness...and many other issues.
To illustrate some points, Juliann posted a photo of a double-coated Shetland fleece that was 14 inches long. I'm glad she did because I wasn't aware there were Shetlands with fleeces of that style, look, feel, or length.
When I refer to double-coated Shetland fleece, I am basing my comments on this particular fleece pictured below. This sample came from a ewe I used to own. She had the most "extreme" coat length that I have come across in my experience with Shetlands.

Whatever one's preference in fleece length, Shetlands are supposed to be SOFT. I felt that, excepting the minimal guard hair, this fleece was soft. This is a mid-side sample. It may not be evident from this photo, but the guard hair is not soft. It feels like mane hair from a horse. It also has zero lustre. But it's amount is in such a small ratio to the soft undercoat, and so very easily removed, that I am not concerned about it. Nor am I concerned with the 9-10 inch length of the sample.

This ewe is true recessive emsket in color. She also carries good spot genetics and throws flashy lambs. I enjoyed having her in my flock because she was also super friendly, an excellent mother, and she had terrific feet, tail, poll wool, and utter traits. I'm listing all of these things simply to illustrate how I feel about a Shetland with a fleece like this that has excellent qualities.

As opposed to the fleece above, the sample displayed on Juliann's blog is not something I would feel comfortable defending any more than she does.


Michelle said...

It is interesting to see these samples; thanks for sharing! I have had nothing like either sample (Juli's or yours) in my tiny flock; I am guessing mine are what people call intermediate, along with some single coats. Although like Garrett points out, even what we call single coats are truly double-coated, as evidence by the fleece tip and the bar graph results in micron testing.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Yes, I agree that all or most Shetlands have the technical double coat with that fleece tip.

That tip is a characteristic that I try to maintain in my flock.

I hope more bloggers share photos of the types of fleeces they are refering to in their discussions.