2018 Delaware Blue Fleeces

The 2018 clip is in! If you are here, you have been invited to view and select one of these unusual handspinning fleeces.

The Delaware Blue is an experimental breed with a base of delaine merino, cheviot, Shetland, and Border leicester. The flock is registered with the Natural Colored Wool Growers Association. Fleeces typically have a 4-5 inch lock, soft, and easy to spin. Lambs are born black and turn the desired gunmetal blue-grey when they are 2 to 3 years old. As the sheep age, the fleece color silvers and produces some lovely varigated shades.

READ THE NOTE: Fleeces are all uncovered and contain a varying amount of vegetable matter including sometimes burrs. Some contain short cuts; the shearer clipped 85 sheep this day and I watched her get tired towards the end so, some short cuts. I have skirted twice: Once for manure, and once for skirting.

Some of the fleeces have VM down the neck and backbone and I have noted these. People keep telling me they are not afraid of VM, so I did leave some in. All fleeces are sunburned with blond tips; if they are dry, this is noted although not many of them are too dry.

Fleeces tend to photograph somewhat lighter than they actually are! If you are looking for that elusive blue, I have noted where a fleece is more blue than anything or that it has good color. There are several charcoal-to-blue or charcoal-to-silver fleeces this year. Please ask if you are not sure as I recognize that everyone’s monitor is different!

Fleeces have a fairly high grease content. Not as high as a merino, but they do have merino bloodlines and this shows in the grease.

Base price is $10 per pound, although in many instances, discounts have been applied to account for VM and overall quality.

Buyer pays shipping which will be from either the 07762 zip or from 08525.

I have done my best to describe the color, texture, and characteristics of each fleece. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them!

On to the fleeces!

PENDING. Big, shaggy soft fleece with color variations of silver to charcoal. Some britch wool. Moderate VM and some burrs. 4″ – 5″ lock. 4 pounds. $35

PENDING. Big, shaggy fleece with some matting that can be teased apart. It is not felted, but has to do with the humid area the sheep are raised in. 4″-5″ lock with great color. VM on neck and back, some britch wool. 3 pounds. $20

PENDING. Dense locky fleece, shorter down back (similar to #3B). There is some VM and some britch wool. 3 to 5″ lock. 3 pounds. $30


PENDING. Loose, locky fleece with shorter locks at the center back. Center back is also full of VM. 3 and 1/2″ to 4 and 1/2″ length. Very soft. Some variagated coloring. 4 pounds. $35

PENDING. Shaggy fleece, plush locks. Lots of VM and you will need to pick open every lock if processing by hand. Very soft with a loose crimp. 3″-5″ lock. Mostly silver with some charcoal. 3 and 3/4 pounds. $30.

PENDING. Big, soft, shaggy fleece with VM down the backbone as with most of these fleeces. Very nice crimp. Variagated silver to charcoal. 5 pounds. $45.

PENDING. Big, soft, shaggy fleece with loose crimp. VM, but not nearly as much as the others. 4″-5″ lock. Variagated silver to charcoal. 6 pounds. $60.

PENDING. Big, soft, shaggy, crimpy fleece with 3″-4″ locks that are shorter down the back. I skirted out some clumps of burrs and there are still some small mats with burrs in them. Good color on this one! There is a grease/dirt mark down the backbone on the cut side of the fleece. 4 and 1/2 pounds. $38

PENDING. Nice, loose, locky fleece with good crimp and cloud soft! Little to no VM. I wasn’t going to sell the white fleeces — I had intended to take them up to Rhinebeck and drop them off to Zeilinger’s but space is at a premium, so here you are. These are some of the original flock before the infusion of Border Leicester, so these are delaine merino, cheviot, and Shetland. Not exactly the Delaware Blue, but the forerunner! 4 pounds. $48

PENDING. Save me from myself and buy this fleece! This is the one I would keep. Lovely, soft, crimpy, creamy white. 3″-4″ lock. Note that crimp is not consistent as with many of these older ewes — the locks down the back have a looser crimp but the sides have a very fine crimp. These older white ewes are treated now as pets, are grain fed, and have little to no VM. 5 and 1/2 pounds. $60

PENDING. This is another older ewe from right around the time the Border Leicester bloodlines were added. Consequently, there is quite a bit of coarse britch wool. Additionally, this one got into the burrs and has some matted areas. The matted areas come apart easily once the fleece is washed as it is caused by heavy grease and dust from the late summer. But the wool has a nice crimp and good color. This would be excellent for rugs or saddle blankets. You would need to use combs or a hackle to process. I’d like to get $5 per pound for it or you can haggle with me šŸ™‚ It has some really good wool on it!

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