About the Gotland sheep breeds and their wool

There is much mistunderstandings considering the Swedish sheep breeds internationally. Especially the two breeds from Gotland ; Gute sheep and Gotland sheep.  Gotland sheep is the grey sheep with black face and black legs that exists all over the world even though most of them are still in Sweden;-) Gotland sheep is mainly bred for their hides, they make lovely skins for coats, vests mats and also furniture.  The wool is silky and shiny and has very little crimp but lovely lock, no under coat or guard hairs at all. The grown up wool is sturdy and can be a bit   scratchy as made up garments while the lambswool is very soft even though not so soft as to wear next to the skin. This wool is always grey from light silver to dark almost black.

Gute sheep on the other hand is part remnant of the sheep the Gotland vikings bred, they have horns (both sexes) and they drop their coat in summer if not shorn. This wool is a typical wild sheep wool, three layers almost, very soft and crimpy under wool, coarse and straight guard coat. They also have quite a lot of dead hair in  their coats….To utilise the wool one needs to comb out the underwool since the wool otherwise will be very coarse and rather boring to work with. The down is lovely of course but it is much work to separate the wool. Gute sheep are kept mainly for romatic reasons AND for keeping  landscapes open in a natural way. They are very sturdy and selfreliant good mothers to often two lambs per season. The colours are very mixed and often on the same animal….

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