The latest Wild Fibers magazine arrived recently (the summer issue) and there is a fabulous article about the French Merino D'arles sheep. The article tells of the migration of the Merino D'arles sheep from summer to winter in search of food throughout Provence.
It unfolds a beautiful story, with wonderful imagery - sheep trotting down the street and lavender fields blossoming.
The Merino D’arles are still traditionally reared - the shepherds sleep with their flock in the mountains, however the sheep no longer walk the migration as nowadays they are chauffeured in trucks. But one day a year they still do a walk – a celebration where over one thousand Merino D'arles flock through the streets of Riez with shepherd and sheep dog joining them. There are also shearing demonstrations and craft stands, people dressed up as sheep, walking a tightrope above the animals. A whole massive show and celebration of the annual sheep migration called Fete de la Transhumance!
We do enjoy the travels in late Spring to Provence to take part in the gathering and selection of these wonderful traditional fleeces. The Merino D'arles has exceptionally fine fibre, and is one of the crimpiest fleece in the world!It is so bouncy and lofty, perfect for hand spinning, and felting also. We take the fleeces and make them into sumptuous tops of amazing quality, made available to you in both natural cream, light & medium brown shades.