Cotswold wool grows in long silky locks in such quantities that some owners shear their sheep twice a year. The very long strong fibres are ideal for worsted spinning, making a very smooth, hard wearing yarn. For spinners who like a fibre length of 8 inches or more this is the perfect breed. The locks feel and look rather like mohair, and are ideal for blending with mohair to make a yarn that will not stretch out of shape when knitted. The curly locks on top of the head make great Santa beards or doll hair. The wool felts well, and is ideal for rug weaving.
Black Cotswolds do sometimes occur, but are very rare indeed, and tend to become paler as they age, turning to graduated shades of grey. Fibre artists have fun experimenting with this unusual wool. Locks can be needle felted into sheets of felt, or used to decorate hats. Whether white or grey the wool dyes beautifully.
A full grown ewe would produce about 5 lbs of wool twice a year. Windrush Farm usually shears in mid-March and mid-September, with lambs being born in late April or May. If full length fleeces (12 month’s growth) are wanted they can be preordered on payment of a deposit. Lamb fleeces will be about 10 months growth.