Breed Review: Gotland

Origin: Sweden, from the Gute or Goth sheep

Diameter: 25-35 microns

Staple Length: 3-7 inches (7.5-18 cm)

Colors: primarily a variety of greys from light silver to almost black

Lock Characteristics:  long, lustrous, dense,  wavy/curly, soft, defined crimp

Average Fleece Weight: 5.5-11lbs (2.5-5kg)

Gotland is a modern breed of Northern European Short-Tailed sheep.  Originally found in Sweden, the Gotland can now be found in the British Isles, New Zealand, and as an American upgraded breed.  The Stansborough flock in New Zealand has been working toward a finer Gotland fleece and is the source of fiber used in the cloaks in the Lord of the Rings movies.


Gotland takes dye well and has a nice drape and luster to it, almost like mohair in nature.  Its qualities can be best seen in a worsted yarn spun with a short forward draw and a combed preparation.  It makes a beautiful smooth yarn but can also create a brilliant textured yarn.



All breed reviews are written from a combination of personal experience, personal research, and from referencing the research of the below authors.  If you are interested in learning more about specific breeds, please check out these titles:
Ekarius, C. (2008). Storeys illustrated breed guide to sheep, goats, cattle and pigs: 163 breeds from common to rare. North Adams, MA: Storey.
Robson, D., & Ekarius, C. (2011). The fleece and fiber sourcebook. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.
Robson, D., & Ekarius, C. (2013). The field guide to fleece: 100 sheep breeds and how to use their fibers. North Adams, MA: Storey.
Smith, B. (2014). The spinners book of fleece. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

2 comments on “Breed Review: Gotland”

    • luthvarian Reply

      Yes-ish. It turns the color into a tone. In color theory, any color mixed with grey creates a tone which has less saturation than the original color. By overdyeing a grey, you get the same effect. But don’t leave with the impression that tones aren’t rich, deep colors. Some of the most beautiful colors, in my opinion, are overdyed greys.

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