Congratulations to the Corriedale! This year is the 100 year anniversary of the Corriedale in the US.
Introduced to the US in 1914 as a duel breed that would have a high yield in both fiber and meat.
Corriedale is one of the oldest established cross breeds developed for Australia and New Zealand’s underused dryer grasslands (comparable to Nebraska climate).
James Little, manager of the Corriedale Estate at Otago, is given credit for Merino crossed with Lincoln or Leicester Rams. He developed them for the property he managed. Back then the sheep were known as “fixed inbred halfbred” (a halfbred which breeds true to type) until 1905 the breed was given its name. You can listen to a reading of James Little’s memoirs about showing and the beginning of breeding his “fixed inbred halfbred”
The goal of the Corriedale was to create a long stapled wool, with meat capabilities, in lower rain fall areas that could be “range sheep” needing little management. They are a hornless breed that produces a high yield dense stapled fleece between medium and long wool. Still used as a meat breed, they have a high pelt value and are often the breed you see as sheep skin rugs.
Corriedale fiber is diverse between breeders and locations, while sheep to sheep might vary on consistency, a single fleece is very consistent across the body. Fleeces range from 10 to 17 pounds (4.5-7.7 kg) averaging 12 lbs, with a yield percent of the fleece ranging from 50 to 60 percent. The wool itself ranges from 25-31 microns depending on location and color.
A lock of Corriedale rectangular and dense with a crimp that is clearly defined along the full
length of the fiber. Corriedales have a medium-long staple length of 3.5 to 6 inches (9-15 cm). The tips of the fleece are often weathered and therefor cut off to prevent noils in carded fibers. The crimp in the fiber allows for lots of loft and elasticity in any piece. You’re going to want to spin finer than you want your intended piece to be as the fiber will bloom with washings. Felting with Corriedale can be interesting with both its texture and loft.
Corriedale is a wonderful fiber to spin with, it’s fine enough for against the skin strong enough for blankets or sweaters and easier to spin then many comparably fine fibers.
Interested in more about New Zealand sheep http://www.teara.govt.nz/en