The Ouessant sheep carries a thick fleece of long wool with a dense undercoat. 

Unlike commercial breeds of sheep, that were bred to produce uniform fleeces for use in the textile industry, the fleece of primitive breeds like the Ouessant remains unimproved, with a lack of uniformity and a variety of length and diameter of fibres.  The wool grows 8 to 10 cms in a year and has an average fineness of 25-28 microns.  The ram's fleece weighs 1.2-1.8kg, the ewe's fleece 1-1.5kg. 

The wool of the inner fleece is as fine as that of a merino and the longer guard hairs are as robust as those of a commercial long-wool breed such as the Romney. This makes Ouessant wool particularly suitable for a variety of craft purposes including spinning and felting.  And it is the subtle variation of natural colours - blacks, browns, rich whites and greys - that make the wool so attractive.  

We will be developing more content on Ouessant wool and its uses in the Resources area of the website (members only).