Sheepspot

Navajo Churro Roving

©Black Twig Farm; used with permission.

©Black Twig Farm; used with permission.

Breed History

Navajo Churro sheep are descended from the Spanish Churra sheep brought to North American in the 1600s to feed Spanish armies and settlers. Some of these sheep were acquired by the Navajo and Hopi peoples, and they became an important part of Navajo economy and culture. Navajo Churros were driven to the brink of extinction by the US government, partly in retaliation against the Navajo, and later through crossbreeding programs to “improve” the breed, but their numbers have been recovering slowly since the 1970s, when their valuable characteristics and cultural importance to the Navajo were belatedly recognized. Navajo Churro wool is traditionally used in Navajo weaving, and creates a sturdy, long-wearing fabric.

Fleece Facts

Navajo Churros grow fleeces weighing 4-8 pounds in a range of natural colors. A dual-coated breed, the undercoat is 3-5 inches and the outer coat ranges from 6-12 inches. The micron count of Navajo Churro fleeces varies dramatically, with the undercoat ranging from 10-35 microns and the outer coat 35+ microns. Locks have a wide base, tapering to a narrow tip, and are low in grease and open in structure. The outer and undercoats can be easily separated or spun together.

Preparation

Carded roving processed in the US from US-grown wool

Prickle factor

This roving incorporates fibers from both the short, fine undercoat and the longer outer coat. It rates a 3.5 on our prickle factor scale from 1-5.

Spinning hints

Navajo Churro is traditionally spun from carded rolags with low twist. 

Undyed Navaho Churro roving

Undyed Navaho Churro roving

Navaho Churro roving in Autumn Wedding

Navaho Churro roving in Autumn Wedding