Shetland Bewety

12 x 16 inches,  Oil on Canvas,   2010,   For Sale  125

(Painting as Michael Fisher)

This Shetland ewe was seen at the Wonderwool Wales exhibition at the Builth Wells showground in April 2010.  The painting shows a ewe with katmoget markings in which the sheep has a light coloured body with dark belly and legs and in this case, dark ears, jaws and nose.

The Shetland Sheep      There are eleven main whole colours in Shetland sheep, with many shades and variants in between.  The exceptionally fine soft wool of the Shetland sheep is the finest of any British breed.  It is used to produce gossamer lace, the famous 'fairisle' knitwear, and fine tweeds.  (The Shetland Sheep Society)

More information below

 

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Shetland sheep are small bodied, with small erect ears and bright eyes.  The rams have nicely rounded horns  The average staple length is 10 cm, and fleece weight is 1-15 kg. It is the smallest of the British breeds and is believed to be of Scandinavian origin.  It retains many characteristics of wild sheep, flourishing only in its natural environment.  The Shetland sheep produces several shades of wool, including white, moorit  (moor red), skiela ( brown-grey), fawn, grey and brown.  This unusual feature is commercially important to the wool industry of the islands, in that the natural wools are often used un-dyed - a significant characteristic of the famous high-quality Shetland knitwear and the softly coloured tweeds.  The white wool in particular is noted for its fineness and unusual softness and is used in blends by manufacturers on the mainland to improve the softness of handle and appearance of their cloths.  However the production of pure Shetland wool is relatively small and most of it is still used by the Shetland Islanders in their tweeds, machine knitwear and hand-knitted garments, including Fair Isle patterned sweaters, stockings and gloves and gossamer shawls.  (extract from a book on the characteristics of breeds of sheep- title unknown - but found at Bobbins of Whitby, Yorkshire, in the summer of 2010)