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The SHETLAND's roots go back over a thousand years. Probably the first sheep were brought to the Shetland Islands by Viking settlers. The SHETLAND, one of the smallest breeds, is a member of the Northern European short-tailed group of sheep. It is noted for its natural hardiness, lambing ease, longevity, and ability to survive under harsh conditions. SHETLANDS are known primarily for their production of colourful wool. They come in one of the widest ranges of colours of any breed. There are 11 main colours as well as 30 markings, many still bearing their Shetland dialect names. Therefore it has been traditionally used for the well known Shetland sweaters with the pretty Fair Isle motives.
SHETLANDS naturally shed their wool during late spring/early summer. It is the finest wool of the British breeds, has no noticeable lustre, but a nice crimp, which gives it a light, airy feel. Famous is also the Shetland lace. The lace yarn is made from selected neck wool, which is a lot softer and finer than the rest of the fleece.
A few facts:
Today mostly found in: United Kingdom and North America
Weight of fleece: 2,5 to 3,5 lbs. (1 to 1,5 kg)
Micron Count: 30μm to 23μm
Staple length: 2 to 5 inches (5 to 12,5 cm)

The SHETLAND is considered a rare breed.