Showing Coloured Fleece.
The Judges’ Scorecard.
Any colour except all white is acceptable, but fleeces must be at least 50% coloured.
Weight – 10 points:
As per weight system used.
Handle – 10 points:
Soft to handle, according to breed type. As clean and free of foreign matter as possible with no hard, greasy, or brittle tips.
Length – 10 points:
Twelve month’s growth, but no more. Trueness to type of breed, good staple length throughout. With the end product in mind, it is important to consider that short stapled wool when carded, will pill more easily.
Character – 10 points:
Stylish, attractive appearance with lustre and plenty of well defined crimp. Evenness of crimp throughout the fleece.
Soundness – 15 points:
Tenderness (fibre weakness) will be deemed a fault. If there is no evidence of tenderness, a fleece should score full mark for soundness.
Evenness – 10 points:
This refers to evenness of character (crimp) and not colour. A fleece should be as even as possible throughout, with no hairy breech and no cross fibres.
Density – 5 points:
This refers to the number of wool fibres to a defined area. A very dense fleece may have shorter than desired staple length, but density without excess grease enhances yield.
Cleanliness – 15 points:
Well skirted with no stains or sweat dags, no second cuts, pieces of skin, dermatitis, etc. As clean as possible with a minimum of dirt or vegetable matter. Excess yolk (or condition) spoils the overall attractiveness of the fleece, but will wash out.
Usefulness to the handcraft trade – 15 points:
The handcraft trade includes hand spinners, weavers, felters, and rug makers. Craft people use natural coloured wool to create a unique range of fashion clothing as well as wall hangings, lamp shades, curtains, lounge covers, bed covers, wool pictures and toys, including doll’s wigs. This section needs to be judged in conjunction with cleanliness, as a dirty fleece or badly skirted, or very greasy on the tip, necessitates more preparation by the user, and results in more waste. Hand spinners prefer thick staples, long and free for quick, easy spinning and minimum waste. (ie. a fleece that seems to say "spin me!").
Colour preference is very much a personal thing, and can vary with the fashion demands of the day. Variation of colour throughout a fleece need not be considered a fault. Very dark, almost jet black fleeces are fairly rare, and in popular demand.
Banding across staples, caused by change of feed or a mineral deficiency is not desirable, but with the exception of very dark wool does not effect the colour pattern when spun.
When exhibiting fleeces remove any foreign material (grass, burrs, etc), and make sure your fleece is well skirted. This is a balancing act, because if you over skirt you will lose points for weight.