I have two fibre books and thought I would share my thoughts on each with you. Actually, I have three. When my Mum in law died I inherited a book on British breeds and their wools, published in the 1970s by the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB). It was very interesting and so I was pleased when I discovered that the BWMB had a new book available.
The book begins with background information on: the history of wool, role of the BWMB and classifications. Beginning with the breeds producing fine wool it works it’s way through each breed showing clear pictures of the sheep and the fleece. It gives brief information on origins, characteristics, location and main uses. It also covers: handle, colour, fleece weight, staple length and micron range.
I love this book, it’s so easy to use, very simply and dearly laid out. If you’re interested in using British wool, buy one now, you won’t regret it. If you’d like even more detailed information on the sheep you’ll find a quick search on the internet will usually bring up a sheep breeders society with a wealth of information and photos.
I’d also heard good things about the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook so decided to obtain a copy of this too.
Not only does it cover sheep but it has information on goats, alpacas, llamas, vicunas, camels, bison, musk oxen, yaks, dog, wolf, cat and rabbits. In all, it covers more than 200 fibres. It begins with background information, explanations of systems for measuring fibres, wool allergies and the marketplace.
It covers much the same information as the other book but has a more detail on breed backgrounds and uses for other sheep products e.g. cheese. This has been written by spinners and contains information on fleece preparation, dyeing, spinning and uses in knitting, crochet and weaving. Not being felters, it doesn’t cover this aspect but is none the less very interesting. For each breed there is a picture of raw wool, clean wool, spun wool and woven wool.
This doesn’t only cover British sheep and has several breeds I’d never even heard of before. I’ve used a number of the other fibres but didn’t know a great deal about the animals and so have found this very useful. I think it’s a great book but if I had to have only one, it’d be the first one. Perhaps I’ll change my mind if I begin spinning. Fortunately, I don’t have to choose 🙂