Sunday, September 20, 2020

US Made Elsa Beret

There are not many US manufacturers of berets, and Elsa is likely the smallest of all. 
Elsa Wool is a farm based knitwear company from Colorado. 
The berets are made from the wool of purebred Cormo sheep. Originally a flock of 200- 300 in Colorado (no longer in existence) and a flock of several hundred owned by a family in Montana. 
The Cormo breed was developed by a geneticist and a rancher in Australia, from Corriedale rams and Superfine Merino ewes. Cormo wool is as fine as average Merino, but it's longer-stapled, and noticeably softer than Merino wool of the same fiber diameter.
There are two breed associations in the US.; their fleeces are prized by handspinners and others who appreciate the beauty of fine wool in black, brown, and various shades of gray.
Cormo wool is fine, longer-stapled than most fine wools, very elastic, and exceptionally soft. It also is among the warmest of wools.
The picture below shows the insulating properties of Cormo wool. The snow on the sheep has not melted; the body heat is close to the sheep.

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