February 16, 2011

Wool Breeds Challenge - Polwarth

Polwarth is not a rare breed, it is one of the Fine Breeds, developed in Australia by crossing Merino and Lincoln sheep (3/4 Merino, 1/4 Lincoln).  According to my reference books, it has a micron count of 22-25 (very close to the Merino's 18-24) and an average staple length of four to five and a half inches (from the Lincoln stock).

I've spun Polwarth before (see my August 15, 2010 blog entry)  but that was spun worsted and chain plied.  I thought for this sample I'd try spinning long draw and doing a regular three-ply. 

Polwarth is very soft and squishy-spongey and is very nice to work with.  I like to think of it as Merino with character.  The fiber prep for this sample is combed top which drafted easily longdraw both from the end and from the fold.  I split some of the fiber into three sections, and after I'd spun one from the end and one from the fold, I decided to experiment with the last section by carding it and spinning from a rolag.   I found no discernable difference between the from the end and fold strands and only a slight difference (fuzzier or more of a halo) in the from the rolag strand.

Group sample pic is top to bottom:  fiber, two-ply worsted spun, three-ply longdraw worsted & woolen spun.  The closeup is of both samples.

Polwarth samples

Polwarth sample closeup

I'm looking forward to spinning up the rest of the Polwarth I have in my stash.

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