Babydoll Southdown wool is highly prized by fiber artists and hand spinners for its exceptional quality. Among other uses, it is considered a "sock wool".
From the NABSSAR.org site's breed standard, the following is descriptive of Babydoll wool:
Staple Length = The length of twelve months of growth of fiber not stretched.
Crimp = Waves in the individual fiber. Fiber with closer and smaller crimp (or waves) will be softer and fiber with crimot larger and farther apart will be coarser.
Blood = A way to interpret fineness of the wool. Usually displayed in fractions.
Spin Count = Measurements of spun yarn on a wool skein
Microns = A minute measurement
Most old-type Southdowns - by this we mean the off-white Babydoll Southdowns, are evaluated as having wool 1/2 to 3/8 blood.
- 1/2 blood translates to a 60 to 62-skein spun count and a fiber of 22.5 to 25 microns in diamtere, with medium-fine crimp and a 2.5 to 3 inc staple length.
- 3/8 blood translates to a 58-skein spin count and a fiber of 24.5 to 26.5 microns in diameter, with a medium crimp and 2.5 to 3.5 inch staple length.
Many of the black Babydoll Southdowns are 1/4 c=blood, which means they have coarser fleece than the off-white Southdowns. They usually have a 27 to 31 micron, medium-coarse crimp and a 2.5 to 4" staple length.
Typically, the off-white wool is more valuable because it can be dyed any color.