Tag Archives: merino wool

The 40 kilo/ 88 lb merino fleece – yes they sheared the sheep!

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Yesterday, I told you about the unsheared merino sheep in Australia, well here is the follow up – and how they sheared it!  Again, copied from the BBC News website.

If you’re not familiar with how the merino sheep normally looks, or what its wool looks like when prepared for spinning – it is the most popular fibre for hand spinners – have a look at my post on Merino Wool HERE

Overgrown Australian sheep Chris ‘breaks world record’

  • 3 September 2015
  • From the section Australia

An overgrown Australian sheep affectionately named Chris has set a new unofficial world record following a hair cut from five shearers.

Welfare crews warned it risked death because it was so woolly from living in the wild for several years.

More than 40kg (88lb) of wool was removed in what the RSPCA says is the heaviest wool haul from one shearing.

National shearing champion Ian Elkins was urgently called in on Wednesday to tackle the mammoth merino.

A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionChris the sheep was spotted outside of Canberra on Australia’s second day of Spring
Kangaroos look at the camera behind one of the woolliest sheep in the worldImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionKangaroos outside Canberra are dwarfed by the woolliest sheep in the world

 

Mr Elkins described Thursday’s marathon sheering session as one of his biggest challenges, saying he had never seen anything like it in 35 years of work.

Chris the sheep on his back as Australian shearers remove wool which has apparently broken a world recordImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionChris’s hooves appear damaged after coping with the excess wool weight

Chris the sheep had to be sedated during the very delicate operation.

Chris the sheep had is sedated during the very delicate operation.Image copyrightRSCPA
Image captionThe difference a day makes: Removing the excess wool cut Chris’s weight in half

Mr Elkins said he was proud Australia had claimed the title from New Zealand, likening it to “the rivalry on the rugby field”.

Weighing the world's biggest wool haulImage copyrightRSCPA
Image captionSpring clean: Chris’s world-record breaking wool is weighed

The massive bundle of fleece tipped the scales at more than 42kg (92lb), but was revised down to 40kg (88lb) to counter the weight of the bag.

New do: Australian sheep 'Chris' shows off a lighter look, complete with pink antiseptic stainsImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionNew do: Australian sheep Chris shows off a lighter look, complete with pink antiseptic stains

Animal welfare officials said Chris was “four-to-five times its normal size” before going under the knife.

The huge haul of wool removed from Chris the sheep's tiny frameImage copyrightRSPCA
Image captionLightening the load: More than 40kg of wool was cut from Chris’s tiny frame

Ever wondered what a Merino Sheep would look like if it wasn’t sheared?

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Found this on the BBC website this morning after seeing a piece about it on the news!  Oddly enough I’d also saved the piece about Shrek yesterday, another sheep in New Zealand that hid for years and was discovered and finally sheared about 10 years ago – link to that article below!

Australia urgent plea to shear overgrown sheep

  • 2 September 2015
  • From the section Australia
A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe merino sheep is “four-to-five times its normal size”, animal welfare officials say

Australia’s national shearing champion has been urgently called in to help after a heavily overgrown sheep was found near the capital Canberra.

Ian Elkins responded after animal welfare officials warned the life of the merino sheep could be in danger because it was so woolly.

Sheep can develop serious health issues if they are not regularly shorn.

The animal – believed to be male – was “four-to-five times its normal size,” welfare official Tammy Ven Dange said.

“It’s definitely one of the biggest sheep we’ve ever seen,” Ms Ven Dange, head of the RSPCA in the Australian Capital Territory, was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency.

She added that the animal was “pretty stressed out” around human beings after what was probably years of solitude.

A heavily overgrown sheep near CanberraImage copyrightAFP
Image captionThe animal is believed to have spent a number of years on the loose

RSPCA officials had initially wanted to shear the animal themselves, but later decided to wait for an expert.

Mr Elkins, a four-time Australian Shearing Championship winner, said removing the fleece “could be one of my biggest challenges yet”.

In 2004, Shrek the New Zealand sheep was found after six years on the loose.

The animal – also a merino – later lost his giant 27kg (60lb) fleece in a televised shearing broadcast live around the world.

The country’s most famous sheep died in June 2011.

See also my earlier post on Merino Sheep.

M is for Merino Wool

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MThanks to the A-Z challenge, I would never have known what a merino sheep looked like if I hadn’t needed to write about something beginning with M!

Merino wool is the most popular wool fibre used by spinners, as it is consistently good quality.  The sheep are bred from an original Portuguese strain, and are mostly farmed in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

This is short video made for the WoolMark Company following a “single piece of fleece in pursuit of its family. From the shearing sheds of the Australian outback, to the ancient weaving mills of Yorkshire, discover how modern technologies and age-old techniques combine to transform fleece into fashion.”

 

 

pure white merino wool fibres for spinning - otherwise known as 'tops' or 'roving'

pure white merino wool fibres for spinning – otherwise known as ‘tops’ or ‘roving’

Of course, I sell merino wool fibres for spinning, you can find my listing both HERE on etsy and HERE on ebay – both listings are current at the time of writing, but may not be current if you are reading this a few weeks from now, altho’ they will be relisted.

creamy white merino pre-felt

creamy white merino pre-felt

I also sell some beautiful white and black pure merino pre-felt, which can be used for felting projects, both for pictures and 3-D items like hats.

 

Merino wool is becoming very fashionable for sports clothing, as it holds the moisture without being uncomfortable, and at the same time provides insulation for cold weather.  I have nothing to do with the Woolpower company, but I was impressed that they gave a full page over to talking about Merino Wool, so if you want to learn more, this is their link – and for more technical information on merino wool this is the wikipedia link.