Taking a Merino ram with a Shetland ewe and then breeding back to an unrelated Merino ram to give an almost pure Merino, with a streak of Shetland to ensure it is hardy enough to survive the climatic conditions of the UK, a process that began in the 80's and took its name from the Bowmont area of the Scottish Borders. The majority of stock is farmed in Scotland and scarcely little fibre is available for individual spinners, felters and knitters through the rest of the British Isles.
We brought Bowmonts into the Rushlade flock in early 2017 so they are still a relatively new breed to us and as they are very different to the other breeds of sheep we keep, we still have a lot to learn from and about them. Their wonderful fleece is quite different to many other native breeds providing an opportunity for us to offer something a little different whilst giving our customers honest local, Devon wool with traceability.
The Bowmonts are at home roaming our Devon hills through the summer months but being a little softer in disposition than the rest of the flock, they then spend the winter months between the yard and barn where they enjoy an easier way of life when the Dartmoor weather brings its worst. The fleece of the Bowmont develops a hard tip creating a protective shield leaving the majority of the fibre clean and white. The tips are then easily combed out and we find many of our customers enjoy spinning the fibres in the raw.
The beautiful fleece boasts super soft fine fibres at an estimated 15-20 microns making it a luxurious fibre to work with and wear against your skin. Since selling the wool post the 2017 clip we have been thrilled with the fabulous response that the wool has had and love to see the beautiful items that are being made from intricate fine shawls to boot insoles!
The Bowmont fleece is available from our online shop in 500g bags and we look forward to the return of skeins of Bowmont from the mill in summer 2018!
For those of you have already got well and truly stuck in with the amazing product, please do keep sending your pictures and stories back to us, for anyone considering something different do get in touch with any questions.