Gotland sheep are an unique breed with some desirable qualities. They are considered a rare breed in New Zealand and are New Zealand's only true coloured sheep. That is to say that other breeds of sheep are either white or coloured, but Gotland is always coloured.
The Gotland's fleece has a very high luster and well-defined crimp. The array of silver and grey shades make the fleeces highly desirable to spinners, knitters, felters and weavers. Gotland wool ranges from 29 to 33 microns and is very high yielding. The lamb fleeces can be as fine as 20 micron.
Gotlands are known for being very hardy and prolific breed, twins are quite common and they are excellent mothers. They are a friendly and inquisitive breed and when handled well are easier than many other breeds to manage. The lambs are born black but normally turn various shades of grey/silver as they mature.
The Gotland breed of sheep (and its magnificent wool!) has become world renowned since Stansborough's Gotland wool was used to make the Magic Elvin Cloak in the movie "Lord of the Rings" and Gandalf's Magical Silver Scarf in the movie "The Hobbit".
The breed originated on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, off the East Coast of Sweden. Gotland sheep are direct descendants of the Gute breed.