Breed Study: Perendale
Perendale is a dual-purpose longwool sheep, developed in New Zealand from Cheviot and Romney stock. Bred to thrive in the some of the harsher climates and terrain of New Zealand, they are hardy and well suited to cold, high rainfall areas.
Staple Length: 3-5”
Bradford Counts: 34 – 54s
Perendale wool is a medium range longwool with a lot of spiral crimp that gives it significant loft. Excellent for spinning or felting, and suitable for use in sweaters / outerwear or household items – not ideal for items worn close to skin.
The Perendale sheep was developed in New Zealand in the 1950’s by Massey Agricultural College (now Massey University). It is named for Sir Geoffrey Peren, a founding member of the college, who took an early interest in developing the breed.
The goal of the breeding program was to create a sheep that would be well suited to the steep hill country of the North Island, adaptable to cooler temperatures, and able to forage on the somewhat sparse native grasses. The hope was that it would would produce excellent meat and fiber, as well as being easy care and productive at lambing. The Perendale achieved all of this by combining Romney ewes and Cheviot rams. It is now one of the more common sheep breeds in New Zealand, and is gaining popularity in other parts of the world, such as Australia (where it was established as a breed in 1975) and the United States.
Perendale sheep are often crossed with merino, as the crosses create a very high quality fleece, excellent for commercial producers.