Baa Baa “Black” Sheep & Overdyed Domestic

Sheep come in all colors, from bright white to the almost-black dark brown, with a gradient of beautiful greys and browns in between. However, when it comes to the old-school wool industry, there are multiple grades to categorize white wool, but everything from offwhite/light grey to dark brown gets thrown into one pile and labeled “black.”


On a smaller scale, we see similar from the local growers that we trade with and the wool pools we’ve purchased. We’ll take in dozens of bags of white in breeds like Cheviot and Romney, and then at the end the grower brings in one, maybe two bags of colored wool. They are some of the most beautiful colors, each one unique in its own way. We will offer the cream of the crop as is for sale on our website, but anything that doesn’t sell fast enough gets thrown in the pile and sent down the coast to be scoured and eventually carded into sliver.


Our “black” products are where you can really see our numbering system at work – 22 being just a tough of dark wool, and 28 being a dyed black, with all those shades of greys and browns in between.


These products are popular among spinners and felters alike, but what gets us the most jazzed is selling them to dyers. We’ve seen some gorgeous overdyeing of these types and are always on the lookout for more.


If you are a follower of our Instagram stories, you’ve probably seen us share posts from our friend Sarah at Green Goat Ranch. Sarah originally took to overdyeing our (now discontinued) 26D Dark Grey Domestic Sliver for her Midwinter Night’s Dream line (which she still has available in her shop…). She soon moved on to overdyeing our 24D Silver Grey Carded Sliver for her Midsummer Night’s Dream roving, and then in a genius marketing move started selling combinations of the two as her signature “Plying Pairs”. Sarah says “In both my Midwinter and Midsummer collections I embrace the versatility of starting with a base of grey or dark grey wool, which adds depth and richness to the final color palette. What’s even more rewarding is knowing that the wool I use is sourced from wool pools, supporting numerous local farms and communities.”


Our latest natural carded sliver product, #27D Dark Taupe Domestic has inspired some overdyeing too. Ellen of Zephyr Creek Farm shared her gorgeous overdyeing, and from a quick glance at their shop, it looks like there’s even more colors than the beauties shown here.


We hope you’ve been inspired to try your hand at your own overdyeing or spread the love around to our hand-dyer friends. While we’ve had ups and downs carrying industrial dyed wool products, one color we will always carry is black. As Phil says, it can be challenging for hand-dyers, and it never goes out of style, so it’s the best color to always carry. While we have three dyed black offerings right now, and will dig into them in a later blog post, our latest is our Dyed Black Dorset Carded Sliver. This is a great fluffy option for folks looking for a true black that’s 100% USA grown and processed.