We simply adore all the incredible creatures that we responsibly and ethically source our wonderful natural fibres from. But one of the unsung heroes has to be the Gotland sheep. A charismatic sheep breed that has links to the Vikings, Gotlands are more than just brilliant wool producers. Here are five reasons why we adore Gotland sheep – and why you should too!
They’re as well travelled as we are
Whilst named after, and thought to hail from, the Swedish island of Gotland, these sheep are in fact a Northern European short-tailed breed that was brought back from expeditions in Russia – but more on their fascinating history later.
The island of Gotland does have its own breed of sheep called Gute sheep. Whilst Gute sheep still exist, this native breed is extremely rare, which has left a gap in the market for Gotlands.
They’re linked to the Vikings – yes, really!
The origins of Gotland sheep go back a long way, and their captivating story is one of the reasons why we’re proud to work with such a traditionally beautiful fibre. We’ll let the British Gotland Sheep Society reveal more about their fascinating past:
“The breed was first established on the Swedish island of Gotland by the Vikings with Karakul and Romanov sheep brought back from expeditions deep into Russia and crossed with the native landrace sheep. The Vikings were great seafarers as well as sheep farmers and took these animals on their extensive voyages to provide meat and skins along the route. Hence the spread of these Northern short-tailed sheep…”
They’ve been conquering the world ever since
Since conquering Sweden, Gotland sheep have made quite a name for themselves worldwide, with flocks now making their homes in the UK, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands and New Zealand. They’ve also found their niche in the luxury, ethical wool industry thanks to the fabulous fleeces they naturally produce.
They’re cute, hardy and full of character
Whilst these are three attributes rarely mentioned in the same sentence, Gotland sheep have them all!
Gotlands are well known for their curly, luscious fleeces, which are typically found in every shade of grey, from light silver to nearly-black charcoal. Their ‘sugar lips’ – a distinctive white marking around the mouth that most Gotland sheep have – only add to their cuteness, but don’t let their good looks fool you.
They’re curious by nature and extremely personable, making them popular residents at small family farms around the world. Their inquisitive natures are only enhanced by their hardiness, with Gotlands particularly great foragers, eating many of the wild foods other sheep breeds won’t touch.
Their wool is simply amazing and utterly organic
Last but not least, Gotland sheep have to be applauded for their wool. Perfect for creating blankets, throws and cushions, Gotland wool has a special place in our hearts and our homes.
Soft, warm, insulating, skin kind and planet-friendly, Gotland blankets are woolly wonders everyone should own.
Gotland wool’s dense fibres are naturally protective, providing great coverage and cosiness come the autumn and winter months. Its moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating qualities will also make it a hit on those chilly spring and summer evenings. Here at So Cosy, we use Gotland wool at its most organic so you can benefit from the pure softness of its natural state.
When it comes to wool care, Gotland fibres are extremely easy to maintain, providing a luxurious home accessory that you can enjoy every single day for many years to come.
Grab your own organic wool piece by browsing the So Cosy collection today.
Image: Adam Hoglund / Shutterstock.com