Any idea what to do with Suffolk Fleece?

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
5,120
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
I listed it for $20 on craigslist and could try ebay but we will have 6 Suffolk to shear next year and the number will continue to grow pretty rapidly so what do i do with it?

Currently 2 adults
2017 6 adults
2018 (possibly) 14 adults...etc

So what do you people with a lot of fleece sheep do with the fleece?
 

Roving Jacobs

Seeing Spots
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
513
Reaction score
737
Points
213
Location
NE OH
Suffolk fleece is going to have a different market than other fleece because they are primarily a meat breed and have a fairly coarse, short wool. Their wool is good for making hard wearing items like socks or gloves but is going to be more challenging for a beginner spinner because of its short staple and isn't going to make a very comfy sweater.

If you want to keep the wool there are mills (Zeilinger wool co is in MI and might be a good choice for you) that will take your raw wool and turn it into socks or mattress pads or yarn for you. You can also try facebook groups like "raw wool for sale" to find a better market for your fleece or see if there is a commercial wool buyer in your area. Commercial buyers would probably pay ~$1 a lb in my area, private sales could get you more money per pound but you might have to put in more work photographing it and figuring out what info spinners would want for making purchase decisions.
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
5,120
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
Suffolk fleece is going to have a different market than other fleece because they are primarily a meat breed and have a fairly coarse, short wool. Their wool is good for making hard wearing items like socks or gloves but is going to be more challenging for a beginner spinner because of its short staple and isn't going to make a very comfy sweater.

If you want to keep the wool there are mills (Zeilinger wool co is in MI and might be a good choice for you) that will take your raw wool and turn it into socks or mattress pads or yarn for you. You can also try facebook groups like "raw wool for sale" to find a better market for your fleece or see if there is a commercial wool buyer in your area. Commercial buyers would probably pay ~$1 a lb in my area, private sales could get you more money per pound but you might have to put in more work photographing it and figuring out what info spinners would want for making purchase decisions.
i dont have much experience with wool...DH does though and he said its a really nice fleece esp for off a suffolk...no clue on mircon or anything but it seems pretty fine based on the shetland fleeces i have seen. i dunno we shall see...i was looking for wool mills there is a close-ish one here but they require the wool to be chemically stripped of all lanolin, then they "condition" it...which i am not a fan of..i will look into the others i found 3 of them.

Thank you much!!
 

norseofcourse

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,653
Reaction score
2,136
Points
313
Location
NE Ohio
You might also try listing it on Etsy too, it's more geared toward crafty/homemade stuff. In ads, write up what's been done to it (if skirted, washed, vegetable matter picked out, etc...). Length of average staple, close up pic so people can see how much crimp there is.
Is it suitable for felting? Give it a try yourself (google how) and if so, you can market it for felting as well as spinning.
Call some yarn shops and find out if there's a spinners or weavers guild in your area - if there is, a good approach would be to contact them and say you are new to sheep and have sheared yours once, and would like to know if they could take a look at your wool and give you some advice on how suitable it is for spinning. Chances are great that they would love sharing their knowledge with you, and it may lead to some offers to buy. They may be able to show you how to prepare a fleece for sale to handspinners, they may also get you started on working with it yourself, learning to card and spin and dye and all the other fun stuff.

Also find out if there's any sheep/wool events in your area, go to them and see what's offered for sale. Very little wool like yours might mean you could fill a niche - or it could mean people have tried to sell it before with no luck. But you'd want to have a fair bit of wool before getting a booth. You may also want some of it processed into roving to try selling, too. Good luck!
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
5,120
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
You might also try listing it on Etsy too, it's more geared toward crafty/homemade stuff. In ads, write up what's been done to it (if skirted, washed, vegetable matter picked out, etc...). Length of average staple, close up pic so people can see how much crimp there is.
Is it suitable for felting? Give it a try yourself (google how) and if so, you can market it for felting as well as spinning.
Call some yarn shops and find out if there's a spinners or weavers guild in your area - if there is, a good approach would be to contact them and say you are new to sheep and have sheared yours once, and would like to know if they could take a look at your wool and give you some advice on how suitable it is for spinning. Chances are great that they would love sharing their knowledge with you, and it may lead to some offers to buy. They may be able to show you how to prepare a fleece for sale to handspinners, they may also get you started on working with it yourself, learning to card and spin and dye and all the other fun stuff.

Also find out if there's any sheep/wool events in your area, go to them and see what's offered for sale. Very little wool like yours might mean you could fill a niche - or it could mean people have tried to sell it before with no luck. But you'd want to have a fair bit of wool before getting a booth. You may also want some of it processed into roving to try selling, too. Good luck!
I'm new to sheep DH is not and has sheared hundred if not thousands so i know the shear job is fine despite "crappy" shears as he tells me over and over as he shears sheep for us/other people. He is the one who says the fleece is "surprisingly good for Suffolk."

I have felted before and it would be suitable to felt or spin...would be excellant made into batts for wool comforters or bed toppers etc. What i was really wanting to know is where large farms sell their wool too lol. DH said in Iowa there were woll buys that would come pick up bags of wool at shear time and give you a check..we cant find them here in michigan.....so hence my asking here lol. I guess i should have been more specific.

However i am pretty sure im going to have this fleece made into batts for bedding.
 

norseofcourse

Herd Master
Joined
Mar 26, 2013
Messages
2,653
Reaction score
2,136
Points
313
Location
NE Ohio
What i was really wanting to know is where large farms sell their wool too lol. DH said in Iowa there were woll buys that would come pick up bags of wool at shear time and give you a check..we cant find them here in michigan.....so hence my asking here lol. I guess i should have been more specific.
Sounds like what we call 'wool pools' here. Maybe do some searches for a Michigan wool pool. There is the Mid States Wool Growers, but I have not dealt with them. You'd have to ask if they pick up wool, and if there's a minimum. It's graded and paid for by the grade, condition and pound; and like Roving Jacobs said, it's generally under a dollar a pound. On the upside, they probably deduct the wool check-off from your payment, so you don't have to worry about sending that in.
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
5,120
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
Sounds like what we call 'wool pools' here. Maybe do some searches for a Michigan wool pool. There is the Mid States Wool Growers, but I have not dealt with them. You'd have to ask if they pick up wool, and if there's a minimum. It's graded and paid for by the grade, condition and pound; and like Roving Jacobs said, it's generally under a dollar a pound. On the upside, they probably deduct the wool check-off from your payment, so you don't have to worry about sending that in.
The closest wool mill to us is $2-3/lb when they are buying...but they dont buy a lot i guess.
 

ohiogoatgirl

True BYH Addict
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
526
Reaction score
181
Points
213
Location
ohio
Did you end up doing anything with your fleeces? what part of the state are you in? I am starting a fiber business and part of it I've been considering buying fleeces from small farms in my area and surrounding states maybe :)
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,059
Reaction score
5,120
Points
393
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
I'm closest to mid-lower michigan....but considered Northern michigan. I never did anything with it, its still hanging out in my front room. We will have another 5 suffolk fleece this spring and two i believe polypay or polypay mix fleece. The polypay fleece definitely has the fine crimp its known for.
 
Top