At Fornside we kept 3 breeds of sheep. Our flock consisted mainly of the local iconic Herdwick sheep. This is the hardiest of all British sheep breeds and well suited to the harsh conditions of the Lakeland fells in winter. The lambs are born completely black and develop white faces and legs during the first few months. By the time they reach their first winter they have a lovely dark chocolate coloured fleece. After the first clip the adult grey emerges and the adult sheep have varying colours of dark through to light grey.
Herdwick fleece has fantastic character both in terms of colour and texture. Although it is relatively coarse it is very hardwearing so it’s particularly well suited for rugs, bags, runners, furnishings etc. After shearing’s over the best fleeces were kept and any particularly coarse ones discarded. They were then despatched to the Natural Fibre Company where they were processed into washed and carded fleece batts and yarns according to our own specifications.
We also kept Gotland and Shetland sheep as they have amazing fleece. The Gotlands hail from Sweden originally and have fine silvery grey fleece which produces beautiful soft lustrous yarn.
The Shetlands have very fine fleeces in a huge variety of colours; from white to various shades of browns and greys.