All of the Blackface fibre we use in our yarns comes from a single flock - Baddinsgill is a hill farm in the Pentland hills, south of Edinburgh in the Scottish Borders. 1400 Blackface sheep roam 4000 acres of stunning heather-clad landscape, alongside a handful of Highland cattle. They are cared for by Josie the shepherdess and her three collies Benji, Roo and apprentice Tigger !
The Scottish Blackface sheep is ideally suited to this traditional Scottish landscape of heather, bracken and coarse grasses. Hardy, resilient and excellent mothers, the sheep spend their lives on the hill, only gathered at the farm for shearing, tagging and worming. This allows for minimally invasive husbandry. There is no tail-docking (mulesing) and chemical drenches are used sparingly, only in the years when the weather is particularly wet.
The Blackface breed is the most numerous breed in Britain accounting for over 1.7 million ewes, representing 11% of the British pure-bred flock (source: 2003 breed survey). The vast majority are found in Scotland. An ancient breed our forebears will have used their fleece for garments. At Lifelong Yarns, we are reviving those traditions, turning this overlooked natural resource into beautiful yarns.