Considered to be the oldest domesticated breed, the Karakul originated in central Asia, named after the village Karakul. Common in parts of Africa and Asia. An independent, hardy, adaptable, and highly intelligent medium sized breed. The wool has been used traditionally since 6500 BC and is still popularly used in oriental rugs as it association with durable fabrics and rugs is widely known and respected. Often referred to as the “fur sheep”. A mulit-purpose breed – milk, meat, pelts, wool.
Dominant fleece coloring is black and lambs are born mostly black. Coloring may change upon maturity to silver, grey, golden, reddish-brown, white flecked colors, and occasionally pure white. Average fleece weighs in from 2.5-10lbs/1-4.5kg. Many double coated with a fine down undercoat and a coarse hairy outer coat with great variability of the coats. Individual fleeces may also range from very coarse to soft and silky in their entirety. Excellent felting properties. Staple length from 6-12”/15-30cm. Lambs are born with lustrous, wavy curls which turn openly crimp as they mature. Micron count is 29 or more. Bradford count is 50’s and coarser.
ALBC Conservation Priority List – Karakul, American
Threatened, less than 100 USA, less than 1000 global