Friday, April 23, 2010

Sheep Pigs

The problem with the Internets is that once you follow a really interesting link, you kinda want to do more research, which leads to more interesting links, etc...ad naseum...until you've found that you've wasted several hours doing "research".

Luckily, this only wasted about 15 minutes of my time, but it IS fiber related:

A friend posts this link about sheep-pigs. They really do look like sheep.

So, I google the sheep name, "Mangalitsa" & "spinning". Why? Because if pig looks like a sheep, then SOMEONE has got to at least tried and spin this fiber, right?

Which leads me to this page, along with the following comment

Here in Lincolnshire, England the wool of the Lincolnshire Curly pig was used in the 19th Century for spinning and then knitting into waistcoats for workers in the fields. The wool is not only warm but hydrophobic and we can speculate that,after getting caught in an English rain shower, all one needed to do was shake the waistcoat vigourously to get it dry. When carding the wool the bristles should be discarded. To make the wool easier to knit, by decreasing the risk of breaking, some longer fibres were often mixed in from e.g Lincolnshire long wool sheep. The Lincolnshire Curly Coat went extinct in 1972 but earlier in the 20th century they had been crosss bred with Mangalitzas which were very similar. Today we have reintroduced Curly Coated pigs, ie Mangalitzas, to Lincolnshire and have experimented with knitting up their wool. The small quantities available have necessitated small scale demonstrative pieces so far but we hope to do more in 2010. For those interested, we will post more details of our activities during the summer on our Blog at www.rectoryreserve.co.uk

So, of course, I have to go look at that particular URL, and they have only a little bit of information, but I found this one fascinating.

Records for the Lincoln Show of 1911 show that 123 Curly Coat pigs were entered with Class 25 having five entries for “three clean washed Lincolnshire Curly Coat

And, this is where I hit a dead end, because the website has not much more and googling Lincolnshire pigs leads me to nothing except pages about the extinct breed.

Now, this only makes me curioser on whether or not the fiber can be spun from the new breed of Lincoln-Mangalitizas woolly pig. I think I shall have to email the Rectory Reserve.