|Welsh Hill Speckled Face Sheep: Photo by Pete Birkinshaw|
|Karakul Sheep: Photo by Patricia Longoria, zencrafting.blogspot.com.|
|Lock from Merino fleece: Photo by Lisa Dusseault|
|Merino Ewe: Photo by nzsheep|
Merino is the Gold Standard in soft, fine wool. Most people could wear Merino underwear and be perfectly comfortable and non-itchy. At the other end of the spectrum there are breeds like Lincoln, which have long, coarse staples, and make excellent rug yarn - but you wouldn't want it in a turtleneck. And here you see your tradeoff. Merino is nice and soft and comfy - but you certainly wouldn't want to make a rug out of it. The fine fibers that make it so soft don't stand up to that kind of wear. You'd have holes in your rug in no time. The nice sturdy fibers that wear like iron (the "rug wools") would be way too itchy for clothing.
|Crimpy Wool: Photo by Kara Brugman 2010|
|Wensleydale Sheep: Photo by Eadaoin Flynn|