As I mentioned in the previous post Cheviot sheep are divided  four different cheviot breeds. I thought maybe I would investigate this further.

border cheviot sheep by water watcher 05


South Country Cheviot (Border Cheviot) are thought to be descended from sheep on a Spanish armada ship that wrecked off the English coast around 1588. These escaped sheep migrated to the Cheviot Hills.  They are around 130-200 pds at full growth which makes them a good pasture sheep(not needing grain supplement).  Fleece weight runs from 5-14 pds and the staple length is form 4-5 inches. The micron counts from 27-33.

Border Cheviot fleece in stages of processing by nancyb3565 on flickr

The north country cheviot  come from northern Scotland and then Canada in the1940’s. The fleece weight is about 5-10 pds and the micron count is often between 27-30 but can range from 27-33.

North country cheviot ewe with twin lambs by penlandpirate on flickr

Brecknock Hills cheviot was created by mixing native sheep with border cheviots a dash of leicester was added later. There seems to be some controversy about this sheep and how it is in the cheviot family as some consider it a welsh mountain sheep. However the knitty gritty is that the standards and fiber can be a bit different. They are smaller than other cheviots almost miniature size by my reading (most are about 23 inches). The wool is a bit finer and can be a bit kempy and hairy although this is discouraged. There is a full range of colors.


Brecknock Hills Cheviot flock in winter by sheepkeeper33 on flickr


Brecknock Hills Cheviot in Summer by sheepkeeper33 on flickr



American miniature cheviots according to the breed standards are a maximum 23 inches tall. Ewes weigh from 45-85 pds and rams weigh in from 55-100 pds. The fleece is 3-7 inches in staple and wights up to 8 pds and can be multicolored or other colors like black, tan etc. They call these painted sheep ( i love that “painted sheep” what great terminology).

Miniature cheviots by


All of the wool from the different breeds is low luster and takes color beautifully. It is described a chalky meaning it doesn’t have luster like the longwools do.  I also  noticed while I was playing with my fiber that it had a few dark hairs in it. Maybe I got the Brecknock Hill Cheviot fleece:) Over all the crimp was crazy going in all directions which was really noticeable after I dyed it. Pictures to come on friday as lighting is really bad today.


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