Wools of the UK: Teeswater

Wools of the UK: Teeswater
Lara Pollard-Jones

If you love long locks then you're going to fall head over heels for the stunning Teeswater!

White, though originally it was possible for black lambs to be born due ot recessive genes (this was quite common in a lot of breeds).  However this was bred out around the time of the first Teeswater Flock Book in the 1940s.

Staple Length
Long! The staple length can range from 7 inches to a whopping 12 inches.  Sheep are can be shown in full fleece to show off the length and lustre.  The staple length of our tops is shorter as the fibres have to be chopped to get through the machinery!

Micron Count
This is variable and can be anything from 30-35mic in lambs to 40-60mic in adults.  Even though this isn't a soft fleece, finer fleeces spin very well and their lustre characteristic makes them a great addition for art yarns and felting projects.

Country of Origin
North East England, specifically Teesdale.

Even though the flock book was set up less than 100 years ago the Teeswater has been around since the 1800s, with the Breeders Association having details of sheep being exported to Tasmaina in that time period.  Originally the sheep would have been entirely white, but a breeding initiative resulted in the marked faces and legs that we see in the breed today.

The Teeswater has been developed to be an excellent crossing sire (that’s how we get the Masham) for the meat industry.  Even though the breed has grown in popularity and demand due to its wool, it is still on the RBST watchlist as being at risk.  This means that there are less than 1500 breeding ewes in the country and if this number drops below 900 it could be in big trouble.

Did you know…
 Teeswaters are big sheep – a fully grown ram can weight up to 150kg and a ewe can be up to 110kg!

You can find our Teeswater tops here

The Teeswater Sheep Breeders Association has a fantastic gallery if you want to see more of this breed

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