Bluefaced Leicester vs Merino
The Bluefaced Leicester is a breed of sheep, just like the Merino. These two breeds are the finest sheep wools in the world, because Cashmere comes from goats and is grown in Mongolia (not Scotland). The difference between Bluefaced Leicester and Merino is that while the latter is slightly finer, BFL is a 'lustre' breed so the fleece has a beautiful sheen to it. Each fibre is also much longer which means less ends in the yarn which reduces any itchiness even further and makes an even smoother yarn.
So while their softness levels are very similar, Merino is more fluffy where BFL is more sheeny and drapes excellently.
A big difference between the two is that Merino sheep are native to Spain and their fleeces now come from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and China whereas BFL is native to England and that's where all our fleeces come from. HERD works with a group of sheep farmers in the Northern Uplands, a beautiful hilly area of England from Lancashire to Northumberland. Not only are we saving thousands of transportation miles in shipping but we are also helping to preserve and protect this landscape and this traditional, rural way of life. Wool has been farmed in this area for thousands of years and the wool industry which created all of Britain's wealth was built up in this area to supply yarn and woven fabrics to the fashion houses of France and Italy.
The creation of cheap fibres from petrochemicals in the 1960s decimated the historical British wool industry. There are a handful of factories left, and it is our mission to rebuild this industry for the benefit of the planet, the preservation of the skills and crafts associated with making luxury wool and the creation of a new fashion industry that has a positive impact on all those it employs.