I had a bit of birthday money, so I took a trip down to the bookstore, and came home with this.
I've been eyeing it for a few months, and this was the perfect excuse to get it. And I am happy to report that it is worth every penny (or every nickel, since apparently we're phasing out pennies. Soon they'll only exist in phrases like the above.)
One of the notes mentions the authors spent 4 years on the book, and I'm only surprised it wasn't longer. Sourcebook is an accurate way of describing it, but I think I will be referring to it as the Fiber Bible. They researched and found pictures and wool samples, and prepped and spun fleece, and had micron counts analyzed, and generally put together an amazingly thorough look at the fiber characteristics from pretty much every sheep breed known, including a lot I'd never even heard of. Lonk, Ouessant, Steigar, Zwartbles...the list goes on and on. Heck, I didn't even know there were so many sub-types of Merinos.
And then they have samples and info for just about every fiber animal that isn't a sheep, as well. Right down to possums, cats and wolves.
They have maps of where different fiber animals originate. Definitions of terms used. Charts showing what breeds to look for if you want certain characteristics and end use suitabilities. Bits of history and lore about particular breeds and areas. A lovely bibliography and list of donors and supporters which includes sources for a lot of fleeces shown.
Highly, highly recommended for anyone interested in fiber. I'm reading it cover to cover, and I know I'm going to be looking out for unusual breed fleeces from now on, there are so many types in here that look interesting.