It's like dandruff, only sheep-scented.
Unfortunately one of the dark coloured fleeces I bought recently seems to have it. It shows up as little white specks near the base of each lock, apparently - this is according to a description in one of the online spinning groups I belong to. It's caused by mites on the sheep, I think. It doesn't wash out very easily, and the general consensus on the spinning group was that you can never get all of it out, and combing will get the most out of all preparation methods.
However, all is not lost. I've contacted the farmer and she was very apologetic, and offered to send me a new fleece! She says she will check this one over double-thoroughly to make sure there are no problems and that she will also have a word with their shearer. I'm going to send samples of the afflicted fleece (in lock, batt, and yarn forms) to show her what I found. I think it's entirely a case of something being accidentally overlooked and I am very pleased with the response of the seller. Which is why I am not identifying the breed or the farmer!
So the moral of the story is, if you think you have a flaky sheep fleece, contact the seller and enquire about it. Chances are they will welcome the opportunity to put things right. Farmers want to keep spinners happy, after all!
As for the scurfy fleece, I'm going to put it aside until I get some wool combs, then try combing each lock to see if I can get the bits to fall out. If that fails I can always use the wool as stuffing!
A box of delights
1 year ago