This fiber is from the United States.
Leicester (pronounced "Lester") Longwool is also known and English Leicester and was first developed in England in the 1700's. It is a "luster longwool" breed, which refers to the sheen and brilliance of the wool.
"The Leicester Longwool was highly prized in America, especially for its use in crossbreeding to improve “native” stock. During the 1800s, however, the breed lost favor to the Merino and other fine wool breeds. After 1900, the Leicester Longwool fell into decline and was likely extinct in the United States during the 1930s or 1940s. A very small population remained in Canada. In 1990, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, a historic site in Virginia, reestablished the breed in North America by importing sheep from Australia. Several conservation flocks have now been established, and the population of Leicester Longwool sheep in North America is increasing. This is important, given that the breed remains rare globally." from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
The Leicester Longwool is of great historic and genetic importance. Many other breeds today stem from this breed, including the Corriedale and Border Leicester.
Leicester Longwool is a medium fleece, long, heavy, curly, soft and lustrous. I have found much variation in softness and fineness among fleeces.
American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Listing: Critical. For more information, please see: http://184.108.40.206/breeds/sheep/leicesterlongwool/