An ex-work colleague of mine has gotten in touch with me to see if I could help her farmer friend out. The farmer friend is looking for someone to take a whole load of Jacobs fleece off their hands and do what they want with it as they normally just burn it but would rather it put to good use if possible. They don't have a large enough number of sheep fleece to be able to sell it to the Wool Marketing Board, which I think is 50+ fleece. Usually small farms will put their fleece together to reach the required minimum amount to be able to sell it to the Wool Marketing Board and divide the monies up from that when it comes in but they are not in a position to do so.
Its a relatively local farm, about 18-20 miles away, in the pretty village of Elford, just outside of Tamworth, Staffordshire.
I had done some asking around of other spinners that I am in touch with via various online forums etc and I had some interest in them and off I went and collected 16 Jacobs fleece, driving home in the hot sunshine with the windows down for some fresh air, phew-wwhhhheeeeee! They did have a few more fleece but someone else had taken those, thankfully!
Some of the fleece had cotted areas (felted) but with the weather we had over the winter I am not at all surprised by that, its been pretty bad. The only annoying thing, which was done through trying to be nice/thoughtful but turned out to be a pain in the butt and create a lot of work for me as a spinner, was that they had put straw down during shearing in a bid to keep the fleece clean and free of dirt. I advised them that spinners would rather deal with dirt, which washes out easily than straw which is a pain to remove as it gets stuck in the fleece. I sorted all the fleece out, removing as much straw as I could and photographed those that I did not want to keep, obviously I kept the best ones for myself, selecting 4 superb fleece and 1 fleece that was not good for spinning at all which I plan to turn into a rug for the lounge.
11 of the fleece found new homes with spinners up and down and the UK and a couple were posted to spinners in Europe.