We do not breed Southdown Sheep but are long-time enthusiasts. We have been rather alarmed at the rate at which the Babydoll breed has replaced the original Southdown. We remember discussions with Robert Mock in the early 1990’s when he was assembling the foundation stock for the Babydoll breed, (and other miniatures such as miniature cats, and miniature Highland cattle). The original Southdown and its lovely wool was easy to obtain at the time, and it did not seem likely the Babydoll program could ever impact its numbers.
But, over the last 30 years, it has become nearly impossible to find real Southdown wool! There are small show flocks, but the show schedules require more frequent shearing and “fitting” of the animal than is ideal for handspinning.
We were thrilled to find that Clemson University has maintained their research flock and shears them only once a year. We have agreed to purchase their wool each year, and make it available to Southdown wool enthusiasts. We think you will be pleased with it’s soft and spongy feel, and nice staple length. There are no colored animals in the original Southdown breed, so all fleeces are white.