Originally raised as meat producing livestock, Bluefaced Leicaster sheep are becoming increasingly popular for their fleece (and it isn’t very hard to see why, in my opinion!)
Named for their skin colour (not their fleece colour!), BFL sheep have been exported to Canada and the United States since the 1970s. Their origins are in Dishley, Leicestershire (and the breed was first known as the Dishley Leicester) where the infamous agriculturalist Robert Bakewell was innovating the practice of selective breeding in order to raise more productive livestock.
BFL fleece is extremely elegant; fine and soft while still holding its block, which makes it an excellent candidate for both heavy duty knits and lace garments. The drape and sheen from BFL scarves or shawls is unmatched.
It is also very easy to spin, though that comes at the cost of being quite difficult to felt (no one yarn can have it all, I’m afraid).