Origin of Corriedale Wool

Origin of Corriedale Wool

Say hello to Corriedale DK, our delicious new wool, spun smooth and buttery from the highest quality Corriedale fiber we could find. It has a springy, light hand and offers beautiful stitch definition. This 3-ply yarn will set you up nicely for delivering those cozy winter knits we all look forward to when the wind starts to blow.

The Corriedale is an in-bred half-breed with Merino on the dam’s side and English Lincoln Longwool on the sire’s side. It was developed as a true dual-purpose sheep combining the best traits of the wool and meat breeds.

Early in New Zealand’s history, income from sheep was primarily derived from the sale of wool, but with the advent of refrigerated shipping, a thriving trade in exported meat developed and the production of meat became a priority. Because a large area of New Zealand falls midway between the sparser grazing that suits the Merino and the richer pastures on which the longwool types do best, it was logical to consider crosses between these two types that would take advantage of the plentiful mid-ground.

James Little, who went to New Zealand in 1863 from Scotland, is given credit for establishing the Corriedale breed. Having proved an efficient breed could be evolved by the right methods, he experimented with Lincoln/Merino crosses, which provided the genetic stability needed to fix the breed’s consistent characteristics.

The result is Corriedale, a sheep that produces a heavy, valuable fleece and a high quality carcass, yielding excellent total commercial return. Corriedales are docile, easy care animals and excellent mothers with high fertility that exceeds 100 percent.

Their wool is bright, dense, bulky and soft-handling, ranging from soft cream to darkest brown/black. Fiber diameter ranges from 25 to 30 microns in adult sheep to the low 20’s in lambs and hoggets. Wool cut is 7kg or more per year with a yield of 75 percent (which varies according to environment). Corriedale lambs are leaner because their wool producing ability limits obesity.

The result speaks for itself—a fleece that is lustrous and resilient, lovely to knit with and wear and keeps its beautiful hand for many years. Be sure to try our Corriedale DK and Confection Worsted yarn to get a taste of Corriedale wool. 

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