The Lincoln breed is a beautiful, large animal that produces a long, strong wool staple. It has been key to producing longer stapled breeds that are more popular like the Corriedale and Polwarth. It is still used in breeding programs crossed with other sheep breeds to produce longer staple length fleece.
About the Breed
Lincoln sheep had their foundation when the economy of Great Britain was closely tied to the wool industry.
They produce the heaviest and longest stapled fleece of any other breed, with a dense broad crimp, which is lustrous, due to the light reflecting on the large variations on the fibre. The wool is used for roller capping (wrapping around the rollers in a wool scour), and also for wigs used by the legal profession.
Consistent with the long wool (200mm) the sheep are correspondingly large.
History of this sheep, particularly in Australia
In Australia they were used extensively in early days for crossing with the Merino, the resulting half breed being inbred and becoming the Corriedale. Subsequent crossing using both Merinos and Lincolns resulted in the Polwarth.
In 2014 there were only ten register flocks in the ASSBA flock book.
Fleece and Fibre
The Lincoln breed produces such a strong, heavy wool that it's fleece typically weighs 5-7 kg. Considered a "long wool" breed, it's staple length can be 18-25 cm long.
The ASSBA suggests that Lincoln fleece should be weighty, wavy, intense lustre, long stapled with a broad firm lock that is not wasty or pointed. The micron count is quoted to be approximately 38-40. So this is a very strong, "course" fibre.
Though it can have gray, black and even moorit, it is typically a white sheep in Australia.
The fibre is good for textiles, homewares, bags and other strong wool uses.
The fleece can be spun directly from the lock, flicked or combed. Combed locks have a beautiful sheen, but can be slippery to manage during the process.
Lincoln takes dye well and has a beautiful lustre.
Where can I buy fibre or products to support this breed?
Gallery - A compilation of photos specific to the Lincoln breed
Australian Stud Sheep Breeders Association (ASSBA) - Information about Lincoln breed is available and breed lines tracked
Heritage Sheep Australia - Lincoln sheep are included in this group
Lincoln Australian Breed Contact:
Australian Lincoln Society Inc.
Secretary: Mrs. Jacqueline Carr
Address: 11 Mona Place, South Yarra Vic 3141
Phone: 03 9820 4172