We quickly realized we wouldn't be able to sustain a mill on our alpaca fiber alone. While we were aware of merino wool, we wanted to do something different. Conversations with a friends led us to the Rambouillet sheep. While the are part of the Merino family, their fiber offers an important characteristic that's missing in modern Merino wool: an almost three dimensional crimp that produces superior loft and elasticity.
Our Rambouillet top feels more alive and bouncy that other commercially processed top for several reasons. We are able to spend the time to gently guide the fiber through our machines. There's no over drafting to blast tons of fiber through the machines, as happens in some commercial mills. We've seen solid steel machine parts BENTS when under the stress of commercial processing. The second is due to the nature of Rambouillet fiber itself.
While Merino wool has a tightly zigzagged crimp, Rambouillet wool has a greatly exaggerated crimp. This 3 dimensional crimp sets Rambouillet apart from Merino in terms of both 100% Rambouillet products and when using Rambouillet as a component in a blend. We've found that blending even the smallest amount of Rambouillet blended with Merino adds a lot of spring and bounce to the Merino. This transformation is even more dramatic when blending Rambouillet with lower curvature fibers, such as Blue Faced Leicester or Angora.
Traditionally, Rambouillet has been a bit higher in micron than Merino, with a typical fiber diameter of 18.5-24.5 microns. However, this has not always been so. The foundations stock imported to the Rambouillet farm near Paris in 1786 came from Spanish Merinos, long known as producers of extremely fine wool. These Spanish merinos at Rambouillet were able to proliferate in isolation, safe from the political upheaval that disrupted and saw some dilution of the Merino breed. This genetic potential has been unlocked by the producer we buy our Rambouillet from. The Rambouillet wool we have is 18.2 microns, though this breeder produces Rambouillet as fine as 16-17 microns.
The 100% Rambouillet top we produce is unlike any wool top you've ever flt, and the garments it produces are amazingly soft. Just a little brings new life to the blends we make. Currently, we have Rambouillet yarn available in 2 weights, 2/18 and a 2 ply DK weight yarn. Both products showcase the superb softness and extreme elasticity of Rambouillet wool.