The fibre from the essentially black Hebridean sheep is variable across the fleece and from one sheep to another, from proper black to brown and even occasionally some light grey. Some parts of the fleece are quite kempy (that is, having thick, hair-like fibres) while some parts are nearly as fine as the Shetland. The staple is long, which allows a more relaxed spinning and contributes to its strength. The combination makes a yarn with a pleasant feel which is soft and springy to knit with.
Because of the kemp, this may not be your first choice for garments to go next to the skin of people with sensitive skins, but it can be excellent for harder wearing outer garments and gloves. The brown component of our Hebridean derives from the black wool bleaching to brown at the tips over the summer, altogether averaging to a rich Chocolate Black.
Hebrideans are very hardy and excellent at grazing the scrub. Being black and very cheeky sometimes makes them very difficult to gather when they’re hidden there!
Despite the coarseness of some of the fibres, the 4ply Hebridean yarn feels delicate and is warm for its weight; it is pliable and works well in lacy patterns in which it is hard to tell the shadows in the pattern from the wool, giving a mysterious air. In fact it is robust, made from very strong fibre.
We have this thickness in all the nine different coloured Shetland yarns and in both tweed -grey and charcoal Jacob yarns, so there are many colour combinations available to you, from very subtle to quite striking contrasts. Browse the product gallery for inspiration.