You are currently viewing Sheep and Wool in Europe

Book recently translated into English. Betty is a wool and sheep expert and has been involved in sheep farming in the Netherlands for over 30 years.
It is essentially a book in three parts:
(a) The evolution and history of sheep is covered, from the discovery of the earliest known ancestor of the sheep which existed during the Pliocene period to modern breeds;
(b) A technical and scientific overview of the characteristics of wool and includes a detailed section on the impact of copper deficiency in sheep which would be of interest to sheep breeders. Betty has expertise in this area and worked alongside Leeds University to deal with this issue on the premise that correct copper levels in the animal leads to better wool. Among the topics also covered are sheering and washing fleece;
(c) The final part of the book is a directory of sheep breeds around Europe. The authors recognises that this is not a definitive list and expects more breeds to be added as they are identified and tested. The spiral binder and lack of contents list facilitates this. Essentially a scientific approach has been adopted in this research piece. There is uniformity in the tests carried out on the fibre as each breed is subjected to the same treatment: all fibre samples (20g) are felted in the washing machine and the spinning process is identical, regardless of the breed. Each breed has been photographed and given a short introduction, average weight of fleece is included along with staple length and micron. A short description of the outcome of the felt test is included and finally spinners’ remarks are included. All are beautifully photographed.
Essentially, this book is all about wool, not felt making. It will however provide any felt maker with a deeper understanding and a fuller appreciation of the raw material they work with.

By Betty Stikkers in collaboration with spinners Diderica and Therese.

Published by Betty Stikkers 2020

Book Categories.
Level of experienceBeginner, Intermediate, Experienced
Print statusIn print