One of the worlds rarest breeds, originally from an island in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland called the Isle of Man. This breed almost went extinct in the 1950s with only 43 surviving sheep. Thanks to the dedication of a few enthusiasts the breed were saved from extinction and although still rare, there are now several flocks of Manx Loaghtans on the Isle of Man and throughout the rest of the U.K.
The sheep are usually horned, most of them have 4 horns, but some have 2 or 6. They naturally have short tails with tufts of hair on the end of them. When left on their own some Manx Loaghtans will shed their wool in the spring, given the correct weather conditions.
Manx Loaghtan sheep are valued for their meat, which is considered a delicacy because of it's distinct, rich flavor. Their wool is naturally rich in lanolin and is sought after for its deep brown color. Originally, most Manx Loaghtan sheep were white - some were black or grey and the "loaghtan" color we attribute to the breed was quite unusual. Loaghtan is the Manx word for the brown "moorit" color of the fleece which is derived from two Manx words: "lugh" meaning mouse and "dhoan" meaning brown, or from "lhosht dhoan" meaning burnt brown. As it turned out, textiles made from the Loaghtan color were prized and that color won out in the marketplace and the breeders selected out the more common colors, keeping the recessive Loaghtan. About the Wool:
- This wool is a natural combed top and is not dyed, ideal for natural colored woolen and tweed clothing.
- 29-31 microns
- Approx 3 inch staple length
- Can be used in over dyeing projects
- Hand wash recommended in cold water, lay flat to dry
- Can be used in wet and dry felting projects
- Ships as a continuous roving