The Zwartbles sheep (pronounced “Zee-vart-bles”) is a black sheep native to the Netherlands. The name of the breed means “black sheep with a blaze” in Dutch. The blaze refers to a white marking that runs down the center of the sheep’s face.
While Zwartbles wool is a true black in hue, the fleeces tend to take on a red undertone due to sun-bleached tips.
Our Zwartbles wool was imported from the Netherlands, since the breed has not yet been established in the United States. We couldn’t resist a natural black wool with the extreme springiness and body that the Zwartbles provides. The overall character of the fiber is medium in feel.
Historically, the Zwartbles has been a meat sheep. A new appreciation for undyed, naturally colored fibers by handspinners has turned the sheep into a dual-use breed and increased its numbers. While the breed was considered rare in the 1970s be the Dutch Rare Breeds Survival Trust, it is now considered only uncommon.
Our Zwartbles sheep fiber includes: