The Tiroler Bergschaf is a breed of domestic sheep, native to Tirol, a mountainous area in western Austria and northern Italy. It is a cross-breed of Tiroler Steinschaf and Bergamasca breeds. It is raised for its wool and its meat. The animals are rather large and weigh up to 90kg. They are very fertile and lambs are born twice a year. As their name suggests, Tyrolean Mountain Sheep are robust and withstand harsh weather very well. They are surprisingly surefooted in steep terrain and are skilful climbers.
Their standard coat colour is white, but there are brown, black and dotted individuals too. The wool’s staple length is rather short, the fibre has more crimp and the individual hairs are thinner than in closely related Bavarian breeds.
Rocksheep’s Mountain Sheep roving is locally sourced from small sheep farms in Ötztal valley. The animals are outside on their mountain pastures above 2000m altitude from May to September and endure heat, rain, wind and the occasional snowstorm during that time. Their wool is therefore best used for hardwearing clothes, such as jackets, coats or Icelandic-style Lopapeysa sweaters. Some people, especially children, may find the wool itchy when worn directly on the skin, so you best add an inlay or wear an undershirt.
The wool is equally well suited for handspinning and felting.