The Border Cheviot originated as a mountain breed, native to the Cheviot Hills between Scotland and England, where the climate is harsh and the conditions are rugged. Cheviots are extremely hardy and can withstand harsh winters and graze well over hilly pastures. They were bred to look after themselves. Recognized as early as 1372, the breed is reported to have developed from sheep that swam ashore from shipwrecked Spanish ships that fled northward after the defeat of the Armada.
The Cheviot is a distinctive white-faced sheep, with a wool-free face and legs, pricked ears, black muzzle and black feet. It is a very alert, active sheep, with a stylish, lively carriage. Cheviot wool has a distinctive helical crimp, which gives it that highly desirable resilience.
Breed category: meat, hill
Distribution: United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand
Cheviot wool has a distinctive helical crimp, which gives it that highly desirable resilience. Cheviots produce generous fleeces of white wool which is preferred by mills because its fineness, crimp, and length of staple give it superior spinning and combing qualities, and its low grease content causes less shrinkage in scouring. The fleece is usually from four to five inches in length. Rams will normally shear 9 to 13 lbs., and the ewe will produce fleeces of 8 to 10 lbs. Micron count is often between 27-30 but can range from 27-33.