Our raw wool products begin with Shearing Day. We usually shear every 6-7 months dependent on breed, fleece length (at least 3 inches) and weather. Currently, we are shearing in November/December before lambing and in April/May before it gets hot.
Emily (the Great) Chamelin is gentle with the animal, has very few second cuts, and is fast and efficient.
For raw wool fleece sale, the bags from shearing are checked again for second cuts, vegetative matter and matting. The bags are then weighed using an electronic digital scale.
Free samples are sent by request using priority mail.
When wool is off the sheep and unsold for six months, it is hand-picked for any remaining vegetative matter. The fleece is then washed in hot water with a mild detergent and rinsed several times. We usually have washed wool fleece available for sale.
Our raw wool fleeces have been sold at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, the Montpelier (VA) Festival, The Mannings School of Design and The Pen and Thread in Pennsylvania, and to numerous craft shops throughout the US via the internet via eBay and Facebook. See our Facebook group: Digging Dog Farm Sheep and Fleece and chat with the group members or read their comments.
Very big deal here:
We provide correct nutrition, pasture rotation,clean water, and shade. In addition, we provide compassionate care and careful observation for health issues ( we are Humane Farm Animal Care certified). All the great genetics in the world would not be an advantage if you have poor mothering, underwhelming fleeces, and discontented sheep.
Producing the Fleece Products
The raw fleeces are break-tested on a skirting table as they sheared off each animal. The belly and leg wool and other undesirable areas are discarded during or immediately after shearing. The remainder is picked for vegetative matter, felting or matting, and tags and bagged for future processing or sale.
This is the slowest activity during shearing and many times is a two stage process to prepare the fleece to the very best standards.