Immediately above is a photo
of the same fleece, but turned over to expose the inner side. (This
fleece is from Cory
Simpson's flock in Montana.)
Premium fleece growers develop and maintain flocks
of special breeds of sheep, and often work closely with the Rare
Breeds Conservancy. In addition, premium fleece growers take
special care for their sheep and their sheep's fleece. This
includes having the special sheep wear protective coats to shield
the growing wool from sun bleaching, abrasion, rain, etc.
The special luster of the longwool fleece of
the Lincoln breed is highly prized in tapestry art for a number
of reasons, technical and aesthetic.
It means that the reflectivity of the luster
enables the woven pieces not to have to require strong lighting
which may be too bright for ambient light in residential spaces,
and even damaging over time to traditional fiber art.
It also means that the reflectivity of the luster
enables the woven pieces to be enjoyed in ambient light without
direct illumination. Tapestries of Lincoln wools glow magically
in the dark even when only moonlight shines through the windows.