The Jacob sheep is classed as an improved breed of coloured sheep. The fleece is popular with spinners and weavers alike and the natural un-dyed colours of its wool make distinctive garments.
There are two colours which make up a Jacob fleece: dark brown and white. The ratio of the two colours varies vastly between sheep and fleeces can range from almost all brown to all white with only small patches of brown.
The fleece of a Jacob is light, soft, springy and open with little lanolin and varies in crimp and fineness. Jacobs are shorn once a year, usually in the spring and the medium-fine wool is sought after by handspinners if it is free of kemp (brittle wool that does not accept dye and also minimises the value and quality of wool). When preparing Jacob fleece for spinning and during spinning itself, the colours of the fleece can be separated or blended to produce a yarn of various shades ranging from nearly all white to grey to nearly all black.
British Wool Marketing Board Grades
- 350 - Selected (Fine) Bradford Count 54 – 58
- Micron Count 25 - 27.5
- 351 – Jacob Bradford Count 46 – 52
- Micron Count 30 – 33
- Staple Length 75mm to 18Omm (3' to 7)
- Good degree of springiness
- Average weight of fleece 2 - 3 kgs (4 - 6 Ibs)
The table of contacts below gives the contact details for organisations, groups, societies and individuals who work with wool in a variety of ways.
The contacts are all involved with wool either by promoting it, processing wool, producing wool from their own sheep or through the involvement in crafts such as spinning, knitting, weaving, dying or felting.
Many of the contacts in the table below also produce woollen items for sale, provide tuition or run craft workshops. We hope that you find the contacts on this list useful. Please click on the name of the producer to be taken to their website.
Members wishing to avail themselves of this link facility should contact the Online Editor Terry Barker via email. We kindly ask that those wishing to be added to the Wool Directory list must have a website or an email address in order to be added. Thank you.
Email Terry: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Organisations, Groups & Societies|
|Wool Marketing Board||United Kingdom||The official controlling body of wool marketing.|
|The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers||United Kingdom||Large organisation with many local branches. A source of tuition & possibly outlets for your wool.|
|British Coloured Sheep Breeders Association||United Kingdom||Promotes coloured sheep & the use of coloured wool.|
|The Arkwright Spinsters||Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mill, Matlock, Derbyshire||A spinning & fibrecraft group. They meet on the third Sunday of each month between 11.00 am & 4.00 pm.|
|Black Sheep Spinners||Blaze Farm, Wildboarclough, Derbyshire||Informal spinning group. They meet on the third Wednesday of each month.|
|Craft Centres, Tuition & Courses|
|Lindsay Roberts||Chesters, Scottish Borders||Handspun yarn, fibres, tuition & workshops.|
|Brenda Howell||Newcastle Emlyn, Wales||Spinning, weaving, dying & felting, wools & woven goods. Demonstrations & illustrated talks.|
|Thelma Jones||St. Clears, Carmarthen, Wales||Studio on a rare breeds farm, local artists on display.|
|Sylvia Sexton||Moylegrove Village, Pemrbrokeshire, Wales||Spinning & weaving equipment, tuition. Craft studio with hand knits & hand woven items.|
|Wingham Wool Work||Wentworth, South Yorkshire||Tuition, fibres, yarns & equipment for sale.|
|The Threshing Barn||Leek, Staffordshire||Tuition, fibres, yarns & equipment for sale.|
|Diane Fisher||North Derbyshire||Tuition, handspun yarns, demonstrations & commissions considered.|
|The Natural Fibre Company Ltd.||Launceston, Cornwall||Woollen & worsted spinners, organic processors & dyers.|
|Curlew Weavers||Newcastle Emlyn, Wales||Mill, producers of woollen fabrics & products in tweed.|
|Bobtails||East Riding of Yorkshire||Fleeces & pet hair handpspun & can also be hand knitted.|
|Griffiths' Mill||Derbyshire Dales||Processors of fleece, scouring & carding. Often processed fibre & fleeces for sale.|
|Halifax Spinning Company||Goole, East Riding of Yorkshire||Spinning & processing of fleece.|
|New Lanark Mill||Lanarkshire, Scotland||Processors, spinners & dyers of organic wool. Organic farmers welcome as trade customers. Soil Association accredited|
|Skye Skyns||Isle of Skye, Scotland||Tanning of sheep skins available upon request|
|Member Producers & Suppliers|
|Tweedside||Rachel & Nigel Gibb||Jacob raw fleeces including first shear lamb fleeces, Gotland fleeces & bumps of rovings in various shades of grey. Visitors welcome to choose a fleece on the hoof & fleeces posted out to all parts of the UK. Winner of the JSS Scottish Regional Show & Sale 2013 Wool on the Hoof Trophy, 1st place Royal Highland Show 2014 Ewe in Full Fleece in Milk as well as winners of the Helen Baillie Trophy for the best Jacob Wool on the Hoof.|
|Kintaline||Jill Bowis||Fleeces, yarn, tuition, handcrafted goods, spinning & weaving demonstrations|
|Edingale||Robert Locker||Jacob raw fleeces|
|Halsbury||Christopher Slee||Woollen products made from 100% Halsbury Jacob wool- shawls & knee rugs, throws, scarves & cushions.|
|Compton||Angela Gilbert||Jacob raw fleeces, Jacob sheepskin rugs & some woven Jacob goods.|
|Tor Grove||Nick & Lesley Nottley||Hand Dyed Pure Jacob Wool - 100g Double-Knitting Weight Balls, 16 different colours from Salmon to Moss.|
|Payne||Jackie & Antony Payne||Jacob raw fleeces, sheepskin rugs, woven products; throws, cushions, gloves etc. 100gm double knitting balls of natural, dark and light (un-dyed) wool. Hand knitted & felted products; cushions, hats, gloves, tea cosys etc.|
|Sugarloaf & Stonecroft||Geraldine & Nicola Fletcher||Raw Jacob fleeces, carded wool & finished handcrafted items|
|Leck||Alison Gogan||Boyne valley wools craft studio, daily demonstration of fleece to loom using Jacob fleece. We suppy raw Jacob fleece, carded & hand spun wool. Woven, knit & crochet products all made with natural Jacob wool. My design of sheep skin rugs & cushions woven using the tops of the Jacob fleece. I can card & spin your fleece for you, please contact me at email@example.com|
|Lickhill||Sean & Kay Carpenter||Jacob raw fleeces, sheepskin rugs & handmade greeting cards featuring Jacob fleece|
|Bentley Flock||Lesley Partridge||Quality Jacob fleeces occaisionally available from our four horned flock. Micron tested yearly for crimp and fineness. Our lamb fleece report for 2014, shows a fibre diameter of 21 to 25 microns, giving an average Comfort Factor of 87% for the lamb crop. 1st Jacob Wool on the Hoof and Elmley Trophy at the Royal Three Counties Show in 2013. 1st Natural Coloured Wool (94/100) at the Royal Three Counties Show in 2014. Tel: 07817695553 or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Oakdale||Simon Baguley||Jacob raw fleeces|
|Blackwolds||Pat & Trevor Black||Jacob raw fleeces|
|True Grit||Lisa Richardson||Jacob raw fleeces, spun Jacob wool in its natural varieties of colours & crochet garments made with home grown Lancashire Jacob wool.
|Laurels||David Sizer||Jacob raw fleeces & Jacob sheepskin rugs.
|Rusland||Sam Hagon & Tom Hrynkow||Jacob raw fleeces.
|Whitedale||Chris & Aileen Simpson||Knitting yarns, knitted items & fabric soft furnishing such as cushions & throws etc.|
|Hope||Siwan & Wyn Harries||Jacob raw fleeces|
|Owlscote||Brenda Howell||Jacob raw fleeces, handspun wools, woven items & textile crafts|
|lletymawr||Amanda Tomkins||Raw Jacob fleece, sheep skin rugs, various hand crafted items from our Jacob flock.|
|Shutecombe||Bryn & Peter Gorringe||Jacob sheepskins & knitting wool.|
The table of contacts above who work with wool in various ways are offered here in good faith for the convenience of members. The Jacob Sheep Society does not recommend or endorse any of the contacts.
The Wool Cup
Each year the Jacob Sheep Society has it 'Wool Cup' Competition. The judging of which usually happens at the annual AGM.
Any JSS member or group of members may enter one or more items (or matched sets of items) which demonstrate skillful and imaginative use of Jacob fleece. This means that the outstanding feature of the item must be, or be made from, Jacob fleece.
Any skill can be used to transform the Jacob fleece – knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, tapestry, felt, embroidery, macramé, fleecy sculptures, fleecy pictures – whatever you chose.
Entries for the Wool Cup do not have to be crafted by a JSS member. Any member can submit items made by a non-member using fleece from the member’s flock.
The Wool Cup event will be divided into two sections. The first section will be for the award of the Wool Cup to the best group of three or fewer items (a matched set counts as one item), selected to represent the Region. Your Regional Council Member will be able to tell you how the Regional group will be selected.
When the winning group for the Wool Cup has been chosen, the remaining Regional items crafted by a JSS member will be judged alongside the items submitted by individual JSS members. The winner will be presented with the Dutch Cup, and rosettes will be awarded to the highest placed runners-up.
All the Regional and individual entries for the Wool Cup crafted by a JSS member will be judged together for the Lady Aldington Memorial Trophy. This trophy will be awarded to the item that has the most novel, quirky or unusual design.
The Aileen Kennedy Trophy will be awarded for the best skein of Jacob yarn that has been hand spun by a JSS member using fleece from their own flock. The yarn can be any natural Jacob colour, or mix of natural colours, and must be plied – the type of ply is your choice. Up to 10% by weight of another fiber, for example silk, can be included. Additional fiber can be dyed, but the Jacob must be its natural colour.
The event is not only an opportunity to show skill and imagination in transforming Jacob fleece into a decorative or practical item, it’s also an opportunity to get a financial reward. Any item can be offered for sale; as is usual at Society sponsored events, a 10% commission will be deducted from the proceeds of sale.