Hebridean sheep, now classified as rare, are one of the Northern Short-tailed breeds and are likely to be descended from ancient Viking stock having evolved over the centuries on the Western Isles of Scotland. In each area they developed subtle differences, and today we have Shetland, Ronaldsay, Soay & St Kilda sheep. The term Hebridean is now used for the St. Kilda breed after its resurrection from near extinction. They are largely found on crofts & estates in the North West of Scotland where their black fleece, light amber eyes and multiple horns (four horns being the most common) make them a striking animal.
Hebridean Sheep's wool makes for hard-wearing articles - traces of which have been found in ancient Island burial chambers - so in telling the story of Scotland what could make more sense than to offer some of the vastly limited production of these remarkable & historic sheep?
Their lustrous black wool varies, naturally occurring colours range from black and charcoal brown through to silver (noted especially in older animals). Climate changes (sunshine will bleach the fleece, more rain or different vegetation) mean that from animal to animal and from year to year every garment made of this remarkable wool will be unique. The fleece of the Hebridean generally weighs between 3.3 and 5.0 pounds (1.5-2.25 kg) with a staple length of 5 to 15 cm.
Hebridean sheep (like Highland Cattle) are non selective grazers with a tendency to browse making them useful in ecological projects (on a precious historic site like Culloden) where a delicate control of brush and weeds is required. We are fortunate to have found two sources (thus expanding the mere potential of your acquisition) for soft furnishings and clothing or yard goods.
Angelhair offers thick, soft, fabulous blanket with a most agreeable amount of fringe and my sincerest doubt (unproven) that you'll require more than a companion flannel sheet to keep warm in late November. Isle of Mull Weavers offer huge squares shawls, while supplying the tweed for some of our couture pieces from ShonaghK.