All the Portuguese Wools
These are only a few of the packages that have been arriving to Serralves, from all over the country, filled with raw wool from all our sheep breeds.
Since late April that we have been working hard at making the necessary contacts to be able to have all this material gathered, and start what, along with the development of the three textile fiber cycles, I also proposed to do this year for the Saber Fazer em Serralves program: a little book dedicated to analyzing and comparing all the wools produced by our local sheep breeds.
The fleeces we received are destined to be partially processed to make the samples that will be part of this book, expected to be ready by he end of this year.
The goal is as simple as creating information for those that work with wool in a smaller scale, or that simply want to know more about it, and want to know the fundamental characteristics related to fiber, from each breed.
We’re talking about more technical facts, like fiber length and thickness, but also facts related to small scale fiber processing that, in Portugal, are never subject of much rigour. For example, understanding the natural characteristics of the wool locks, the variations within the breed, the most adequate preparation for each type of fiber or what the best final uses may be.
Something that can clearly show what we have in our country and their potential.
I have to admit I'm quite happy to have succeeded in gathering all the different fleeces in one place and for having the opportunity to getting to know them first hand, along with the people I invited to help me produce the information and samples for this little study.
When I talk with someone that is interested in the subject about this work, I always get the following question: “So, how many sheep breeds are they in Portugal, after all?”. The answer is: fifteen, which are as follow, for you out there that also doesn't know about them:
- Bordaleira de Entre Douro e Minho;
- Churra Algarvia;
- Churra Badana;
- Churra da Terra Quente;
- Churra do Campo;
- Churra do Minho;
- Churra Galega Mirandesa;
- Churra Galega Bragançana;
- Merino da Beira Baixa;
- Merina Branca;
- Merina Preta;
- Serra da Estrela;
[This post refers to the investigation and activities developed during the Saber Fazer em Serralves program]