If you have ever seen a stray, wiry white hair in your knitting wool, and didn’t know what it was, then it may come as a surprise that “most sheep grow hair as well as wool; the hair is known to wool staplers as ‘kemp.’ Some of the best wool-bearing breeds are almost entirely free from kemp, but some may be expected in most British breeds, especially those from the hill lands. In our enthusiasm for wool as a material, we sometimes forget that to the sheep who bears it, it is a thatch grown to protect it from the particular climate it must endure. Rain runs more easily off hair than off wool, so kemp increases in wet districts.”

– Elsie G. Davenport, Your Handspinning, 1971, Select Books, Mountain View, MO, USA.

Picture submitted to Wovember2011 Gallery by Elizabeth Buffington, showing a detail of a moss stitch scarf knitted in Jacob wool

This entry was posted by tomofholland.

One thought on “WOVEMBER WORDS #9

  1. I did indeed wonder about this. Thanks for the illumination. About an earlier post of yours and your struggles to be 100% wool this Wovember because of your cotton undies, have a look at icebreaker who make different styles of 100% merino pants. Ignoring the elastic waistband and you may just pass as 100% wool!

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