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Breed Exploration: Eider

Posted by John Dorrenbacher on

The previous pre-order featured Eider as the Pure Wool and in the Exploration blend (Eider/Rambouillet/Mulberry Silk 40/40/20). Orders are dyed and starting to ship out, so we wanted to share some details with you about what you can do with your new fiber! 

Eider comes from the German Whiteheaded Mutton sheep (Deutsches Weisskoepfiges Fleischschaf), which boasts English Leicester, Cotswold, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Texel, and a local German marsh sheep, Wilstermarschschaf, in its heritage. This breed came to dominate the coast areas along the North Sea by the mid 1900s. Shepherds bred for two purposes: meat and wool. The genetic mix of these sheep led to a larger sized sheep, plenty of lambs, fast development, and a rugged disposition. The breed has wool with good crimp structure and a micron count anywhere between 27 and 41 microns.

A 2.5-year-old Eider ewe. Photo by Anton Hornbläser

To me, the Eider Pure Wool screams durability. With all those longwool genetics, I recommend going one of two ways with it: Either spin it fine and with a gentle twist in both your single and plying for a fantastic lace shawl; or go the other direction and give it plenty of twist, keep it a single (or bulk it up with at least 3 plies), and weave some mats. It would probably felt amazingly well. Think outerwear—a perfect hat or mitts wool!

The Exploration blend, Eider/Rambouillet/Mulberry Silk 40/40/20 is above and beyond awesome­—the bouncy crimp, the sleek wool, the softness the Rambouillet brings, and the luster and shimmer of the Mulberry Silk just makes the blend sing. It spins up both strong and soft and screams, “Cable-ply me for a sweater!!” at my face, pretty damn loudly.

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