This is definitely a fleece that prefers combing, and spinning from the bottom of the staple in the grease. Flicking didn’t work, as at the bottom end there are a lot of shorter, finer fibres. With combing, I was able to remove these and set them aside to see what they spin up like. I’ll probably scour them and then put them through the wool combs.
I did scour a couple of lots of uncombed staples prior to spinning, but due to the high micron count, leaving the grease in is kinder on the hands (and everything else). I have yet to decide how to tackle these.
Back to the combed staples. The longer fibres were easy to manage, and quick to spin and ply. The resulting yarn is quite pleasing for a first attempt – definitely too coarse for much other than a carpet, but still with a degree of softness. After scouring the skein, it came out whiter than white. I look forward to seeing how well it takes dye.
The next step is to spin some singles for warp. As the total fleece weight was 2.7Kg, there should be enough to experiment with.
Tukidale is just one of the many sheep breeds I’d read about in The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook – a publication that should come with an addiction-warning. After some research into which interesting fibres I could either find locally or import legally, I was amazed to find there is a Tukidale breeder in South Australia. Not only that, but less than 10km from home.
I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to try a “carpet wool” for myself, and perhaps introduce it to fellow Guild members. There must be some interest in a hard-wearing yarn for bags, rugs, tapestries, etc?
A short drive along one of those winding, Hills roads (a careful-what-you-have-for-breakfast-and-don’t-read-anything-if-you’re-a-passenger road) I was lucky enough to get the last fleece they had, although could have waited (eagerly) until the next shearing in September. I also learnt heaps about the breed in a very short time.
With long staples, minimal dirt and a large micron, this should be easy to clean. Spinning will be another matter; there doesn’t seem to be any information online about this particular breed, although some pictures of Scottish Blackface appear similar. Just have to get on and spin some…