The Sheep Fleece Compeitition

Fleece Competition At The Woolsery Show

Whilst visiting the North Devon Show I wandered in the Fleeces judging tent. The competition was over so I had a bit of a shufty and took a few photographs.

Here is the:

Overall Champion


Looks a bit messy to me 😂

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There were a number of classes but I didn't note which class each of these fleeces was in.

I was just looking at the numbers. 😂

The classes were:

Fine (including Down & Down Cross).
Medium (including Half-bred, Kent, Texel & Lleyn).
Cross (including Masham, Mule & Greyface).
Lustre (including Wensleydale, Lincoln, Devon, Cotswold and Bluefaced Leicester).
Hill (including Radnor, Improved Welsh, Cheviot, Exmoor, Gritstone & Lonk).
Mountain (including Swaledale, Dales-bred, Blackface, Rough Fell & Welsh).
Natural Coloured (including Jacob, Herdwick, Black Welsh Mountain or any other natural coloured pure bred or cross-bred fleece).

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First And Reserve Champion


Looking even messier than the champion. 😱

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This competition was obviously just for the love of it and the glory since the entrance fee was £2 and prizes were only: 1st £10, 2nd £5 and 3rd £3.

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I'm liking the colour of this one.

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So what makes a good fleece?

Well, according to The Shepherds harvest Festival Website "Many factors are considered when judging a fleece for commercial or hand-spinning value. Cleanliness is of high importance especially for a hand-spinning fleece. A little dirt is okay as it easily washes out, but burrs, hay chaff, and manure tags don’t, thus greatly lowering the value of the fleece. A clean fleece also contributes to a higher estimated clean weight which adds value simply because there is more usable wool."

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Nice and fluffy but only third. 😢

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More on what the judges are looking for.

"Several qualities of the wool are considered. Tensile strength is important because weak fiber or fiber with a break (a weak spot in the fiber often caused by illness or stress to the sheep at some point during the year) may be torn up during the carding process ruining the fleece. Staple length should be appropriate to its class and, generally, longer length is more desirable. The crimp of the wool is what gives character and resilience to the yarn it is spun into. The crimp should be consistent throughout the fleece as well as within each lock. Each fleece is also checked for consistency of grade or fiber diameter throughout the fleece."

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So now you know. Personally I was just interested in the way they looked and second and third were my favourites. 😁

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Comments 8

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08.07.2019 13:02

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08.07.2019 17:03

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09.07.2019 00:19

Nice photos of them! That dark fleece looks really nice. It presents better, too.

Alas, no golden fleece?

09.07.2019 18:25

Nope. No golden fleece @fotosdenada. 😂

But then if there had been it wouldn't have been mine away so not great loss. 😊

09.07.2019 19:17