Allow us to introduce you to Gotland fiber, which somewhat resembles mohair. As the story goes, adventuresome Vikings developed the breed by crossing the Swedish Gute sheep with Karakul and Romanov sheep they had acquired while trekking deep into Russia. They then brought the new breed to the Swedish island of Gotland for food, fiber, and sheepskin. Naturally, as they traveled, the breed locations expanded. Thank you, Vikings!
The modern Gotland breed was developed by the Swedes through intensive selective breeding and research starting in the 1920’s. Their efforts have produced a long-wool sheep known for its multi-purpose fleece, meat, and pelts. It can now be found throughout Sweden, Britain, Denmark, New Zealand, and Australia.
Gotland wool is soft, lustrous, with a wavy crimp and is enjoyed for its comfortable feel next to the skin. To handweavers and spinners alike, Gotland fleece has a range of colors beyond the traditional grey – silvery grey, charcoal, white, red/brown (Moorit), and nearly black. The silky, lustrous, and curling locks are also a favorite among felters. Gotland is fluffy when prepared for spinning. Then, when twisted, it produces a fiber of good drape, whether textured or smooth.