Fleece Grades

YWL specializes in silky/suri single coat fleece with high luster and consistent, very low micron counts. Our quality fleeces are perfect for knitting or weaving next to the skin luxury garments. Fleeces with higher micron counts or debris will be noted as such.

We have chosen to describe the color, luster and hand of our fleeces in comparative terms. The amount of “crimp” in the individual fiber determines the amount of natural loft and elasticity in the yarn. Sheep or other specialty fiber is sometimes blended to increase elasticity, however the method of carding, spinning, and the knitting itself will impact the memory of the yarn. 100% llama or alpaca fiber can be warmer, does not itch like sheep wool, wears as well or better than sheep wool garments and through proper preparation, can hold its shape as well as sheep wool garments. Using pure silky llama in a worsted preparation will highlight its drape and luster to create a truly luxurious garment.

Many of our fleeces are show fleeces and have won championships and special awards for hand and luster. Fiber Histograms are run on our fleeces so that we know the true measure of each natural blanket fleece (without removing any guard hair.) The actual hand of the fiber is also a valuable measure.

Fineness and consistency of our fleeces are graded according to:

  • True Baby (First Shearing, generally 20 micron average or less)
  • Baby Fine (no greater than 20 micron average)
  • Prime (no greater than 20 to 25 micron average)
  • Standard (no greater than 25 to 30 micron average)
  • Craft (anything over 30 micron or containing guard hair, debris, or is non-standard as listed)