Polwarth sheep, named ‘Polwarth’ after the County of Polwarth in which Tarndwarncoort sheep station is located, is a breed of sheep that was developed in Victoria, Australia in 1880.
Polwarth's are one-quarter Lincoln sheep and three-quarters Merino bloodlines. They are large sheep with long, soft, fine wool. They were developed in an attempt to extend the grazing territory of sheep because the Merino was found lacking in hardiness in this respect. Richard Dennis, of Tarndwarncoort in south west Victoria, bred the Polwarth, first known as Dennis Comebacks. Descendants of Richard Dennis continue to grow Polwarth wool at Tarndwarncoort, maintaining the original bloodlines in a flock referred to as the "Blue Dots".
Polwarth sheep were founded by crossing Merino and Lincoln which was then line bred to a fixed type of ¾ Merino and ¼ Lincoln. As a result, the Polwarth is a dual purpose plain bodied sheep with minimal wrinkle. They are docile in nature, making them an easy-care animal. The Polwarth grows an open, even, soft, white, high yielding fleece of 20-24 micron.
Polwarth wool has many desirable qualities which makes it a favourite for handspinning. The long staple length (appr. 8-18cm) makes it easy for spinning and felting but also produces a strong, smooth and silky yarn with good stitch definition that takes the dye very well and produces a beautiful knitted or woven fabric, that has a lofty drape and can be worn close to skin.
The Polwarth's have dense rectangular staples that are generous in length, with flat or very slightly pointed tips and a well defined crimp. Polwarth is very fine, so removing grease and preventing it from being redeposited on the wool requires consistently hot water and a good detergent. The same procedure that is needed for Merinos, Rambouillet sheep and Romeldale sheep btw.
You can spin from the lock, flick or comb the staples and when carded it creates a wonderful combed top that is super easy to spin . To spin for ultimate softness use less twist, for durability when spinning for socks for example, use more twist.
Polwarth tops are easier to spin for beginners than Merino. Polwarth is elastic, resilient, and lofty and it drapes very well.
Polwarth fibre is also ideal for mixing with other fine fibres like angora, baby alpaca and mohair.
Fibre Top Roving details
Weight per top: 100g / 3.52oz
Contents: Polwarth 21micron 100%