Most sheep breeds grow wool, which is shorn in early summer.
The majority of fleeces are then sold to the British Wool Marketing Board for the international market. Unfortunately, wool is over produced in the world and most clothes, carpets and fabrics are now being made from man-made fibers so prices do not usually cover the cost of shearing.
Different breeds of sheep provide different qualities and colours of wool and the RBST encourages specialised producers and marketing of products made from named rare breeds. Rare breed wool is very popular with hand spinners and a niche market can be created through contacts in this field. At many rare breed sales, there are bring & buy stalls for such fleeces and a good trade can be expected for well-presented, good quality fleeces from almost all rare breeds of sheep.
Sheepskins are another important commodity where breeders can recover some of the cost of keeping rare breeds. Some sheep provide wonderful skins when cured and whether you are a producer looking to arrange for some tanning or someone looking to buy a rare breed sheepskin, please contact us and we will be happy to help.