Sheep Suits™ Sheep Covers are made in two different weights of nylon. Regular or heavy Sheep Suits™ are made of 1000 denier nylon. Sheep Suits™ Lite are made of 400 denier nylon. Denier is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers. The 1000 denier nylon is commonly called Cordura and was developed by DuPont. Because it is so hard-wearing and durable, it is used extensively in the outdoor industry and by the US military.
The threads for the 1000D fabric used in Sheep Suits™ are approximately 1.5 mm wide and .15 mm thick. The fabric weighs almost one pound per yard so we are talking about heavy duty roll goods. These covers are so robust and resilient to tearing that they will out last any other cover on the market today. This fact reduces the cover cost per year per sheep to a more reasonable dollar amount and that savings goes directly to your bottom line. I know of shepherds that have regular Sheep Suits™ that are over 6 years old and they are still in good shape with minimal patches.
The 400 denier nylon is 2 ½ times less dense than 1000D but still very tough. It has a very slick, smooth feel. I searched for this fabric at the request of Merino and Rambouillet breeders.
At first glance I was a bit skeptical of how light weight the 400D seemed. However, after pretending to be a sheep (I did nothing but think about food and sleep all day) and dragging it across nails, hog panel ends and some barbed wire, I was convinced that it had the toughness that Sheep Suits™ require. It is difficult to snag because it has such a smooth, silky character and doesn't puncture easily. It really resisted the nails and the hog panel. The point on the barbed wire did puncture it more easily but not many shepherds that cover their sheep use barbed wire so I didn’t put too much credence in that test.
Sheep Suits™ Lite will obviously not be as durable as regular Sheep Suits™. Nor will they last as long; but shepherds that have experienced a dilemma I call “pilling” may find that they eliminate that problem. “Pilling” is seen on finer wooled breeds like Merino, Rambouillet and Cormo and is similar to the “pilling” that one gets on polar fleece garments.
The thread size used in 1000d fabric creates a somewhat rough handle and in my opinion that is what causes “pilling”. I had this problem on some of my finer wooled Corriedales. I don’t feel that this is an issue on wool that is courser than 58’s. I never had a hand spinner complain about it but it always worried me and now I feel that I have found a solution.
I hope that this information answered any questions that you have about the fabric used in Sheep Suits™. If it hasn't please see the spin count page or feel free to give me a call and I will be happy to discuss this most important topic in further detail.
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