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Southdown is a conservation breed and the breed from which all other down breeds derive.  The foundation of the breed dates as far back as medieval times with records of sheep on the South Downs and it is believed the first sheep in the Jamestown Colony in Virginia in 1609 were from these South Downs flocks.  Breeders began improving the breed in the late 1700s and it soon became the most important breed in England.  Modern Southdowns are divided into three types based on size, the medium-sized used in commercial agriculture, the Baby Doll, and Miniature or Toy -- both of which are primarily kept as pets or in spinners' flocks.  Miniature Southdowns are only 24" tall at the withers!  Southdown has a staple length of 1.5-4", is 23-29 microns, and the fleece is resilient, springy, and lofty.  Down breeds are naturally felt resistant.  This fiber would be great for socks, mittens, hats, sweaters, etc.  It will be durable but can still be worn next to the skin.  It is not princess soft though.

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