The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook

The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook : More Than 200 Fibers from Animal to Spun Yarn

4.74 (628 ratings by Goodreads)
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It offers an unusual combination of information on the characteristics of each fibre-producing breed, as well as the unique qualities of each fibre, its history, and its potential uses. It covers almost every sheep breed in the world - the longwool breeds of the United Kingdom, the Tasmanian merino, the Navajo churro, the northern European Faroese and dozens and dozens more. It also includes goats (mohair and cashmere of course); camelids, such as alpacas, llamas, and vicunas; bison; horses; musk oxen; rabbits; and, even dogs. Readers will find everything they want to know about each animal and its fibre, including the fibre's colour, density, strength, and staple length, and recommendations for processing and using it.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 448 pages
  • 221 x 259 x 33.53mm | 1,700.97g
  • North Adams, United States
  • English
  • 400 Illustrations, color
  • 1603427112
  • 9781603427111
  • 36,540

Review quote

Every once in a while there is a book that lives up to it's hype. Only once in a blue moon are we lucky enough to get a book that surpasses all the stories that have led up to it. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook is a blue moon book. The spinning world has been buzzing about this book for years, and Deb Robson has been kind enough to share writing the process on her blog, but that still didn't prepare me for the completeness of the book.

The sheer complexity of the subject made clear, useful and not just interesting, but fascinating. More than 200 animal fibers and breeds laid out and dissected by an animal expert and a spinning expert jump off of the page in concise prose that speaks to the history of the breed; fleece, fiber and lock characteristics; using the fiber in dyeing, spinning, knitting and weaving. The photography is crisp enough to count crimps and shows fiber as washed and unwashed; prepped and spun, and sometimes knit or woven. The authors manage to do all of this using 2-4 pages per breed.

Spinners (and knitters) this is the book you've been asking for: more photos and breeds than In Sheep's Clothing and more sheepy and animal goodness than The Knitter's Book of Wool. A labor of sheepy love and a stellar book.-- "Library Journal"
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Rating details

628 ratings
4.74 out of 5 stars
5 80% (500)
4 16% (98)
3 4% (27)
2 0% (3)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

I was devastated... I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to read an eARC version of this fantastic book, but was devastated when the license expired 50p ages or so from the end (procrastination and a slow reading month). Of course, then I realized that (due to the slightly different formatting of the ebook version) I had only missed out the last few pages talking about Yak fibre, so I think I'm within rights to do a review on this GREAT book. Anyone following my goodreads account would have received the running commentary while I was reading this book and know that I enjoyed every moment. The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook is amazingly addictive, and the two authors writing it much have had SO much fun, which really shines through in the text. The hundreds of samples of wool that they have analysed, washed, spun, knitted, woven and crocheted... all for the benefit of the reader, is just amazing. Each type of fleece they've talked about goes into the breading history of the animal, the types of wool, the use of wool, ease of spinning, the texture, possible uses, colourations, hardiness of the animal, native location, and the rarity and current breading areas. It's a very detailed book that is just an absolute eye opener. If you have even a passing interest in any yarn related hobby, or have a secret dream of a retiring to a little lifestyle block, this book will just astound you. If you're a professional farmer or spinner, this book will be a fantastic reference. Each section is clearly laid out, and is written and analysed in such a way that not only is it actually enjoyable to read from cover to cover, but is also a great reference book that can be referred to time and time again. Clear illustrations of each animal; the fleece (raw /washed/processed); a swatch of knitted and crocheted yarn; a sample of spun yarn and a swatch of woven yarn. If more than one colour was available they've shown all of these samples in the different colour variations; and if more than one time of fleece was available, they've also sampled the different types (particularly for winter/summer coats where there is a noticeable difference). There is a LOT of excellent, well laid out information in this book. But the thing that got to me the most was hitting around the 300 page mark and reading this: "We'd like to include all the fiber sheep in the world within these pages. That's hardly practical, considering the number of breeds in countries and continents we have barely touched on or not had the time (or space) to consider" Ok, so most of the book up until this point been focused on sheep. But to think that they hadn't covered all the sheep was just astounding, they've done some much work and gone into so much detail, the idea that there is so much more is truely amazing. Although they do lightly cover other types of fleece (rabbits, goats, ox etc) there is no plant fibres at all, which I admit I was hoping to see a little about this when I read the "fibre" part of the title. However, overall I think this book is a fantastic reference, and can only hope that these two dedicated ladies do go on to write another book focused on sheep in other parts of the world; a third book focused on plant fibres; and a fourth book focused on alternative animal types. If they're all written with the same skill, layout and analysis they'll be must have bibles for any person with an interest in Fleece or more
by Alison Sammes
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