Published on December 4th, 2008 | by Kelly Rand1
Yearn Worthy Yarn: Tierra Wools
If you’ve ever wondered what Churro wool was, then look no further than Tierra Wools. Complete with a full history of the breed of sheep, Tierra Wools also offers all of their Churro yarn and other wools as certified organic.
For the curious amongst you, Churro sheep were introduced to the New World because of their hardiness and adaptability to the new climate. They are an old breed dating back to the 1500’s. They were adopted by the Navajo and Pueblo Indian Tribes, soon after their journey.
Their fiber is similar to that of merino, but was eventually found to be secondary to other breeds and their stock was rapidly diminished. Today, it is rare to find pure bred Churros because they had been pushed to the brink of extinction, for many reasons. Largely found in the Southwestern part of the U.S. their fiber carries a luster not found in other wools. It has less lanolin then other wools as well and popular among spinners because of this.
Tierra Wools offers several weights of organic Churro yarn — Blanket weight semi-worsted single ply, Tapestry weight semi-worsted single ply, both available in natural dye and commercial dye lots. They also offer a 50/50 blend of Churro and mohair.
By offering this breed of wool to spinners and knitters a like, Tierra Wools have helped to bring back this breed of sheep. With a little bit of demand, we the consumers, can help protect this breed from ever going extinct. This might be a stretch for some, but if you’ve never tried Churro wool, why not now? You too, can have a hand in their protection.
[Image from Tierra Wools’ website]