Sheep, Wool, Paksworld

Posted: February 23rd, 2016 under Background.
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This article, found today on Twitter via a friend’s tweet, is a terrific resource for anyone interested in how wool was used–and the kind of sheep that could be raised in a subarctic environment.  The method of collecting the wool from these sheep is the same used worldwide for collecting an animal fiber from animals that shed annually (it’s used for quiviut, the underfur of musk oxen, and a century or so ago for the undercoat of sheep on the western most Hebrides island, St. Kilda.

I know the Vikings were supposed to have used wool sails, but it kept sounding improbable until I read this article, which describes how the sails were sealed, and how someone has, in this century, replicated the process and produced useful sails.  But wow, the Vikings would not have had any time to watch TV or surf the internet.

I imagined the Seafolk in Paksworld as similar to the Vikings (what I knew of them then)  so the Pargunese would also have had a lot of sheep.


  • Comment by Winifred Ryan — June 26, 2016 @ 1:22 pm


    One thing I noticed the article did not explore was the issue of Vikings and slaves. The need for the wool fabric and the necessary labor involved to me would have been a potential reason for taking more slaves. The more skilled the people taken, the better quality the wool fabric, so that may have induced more raiding into England and Scotland as well as the taking of religious artifacts . . . hmm just thinking with hands on the keyboard. But it might be interesting to investigate.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 26, 2016 @ 1:58 pm


    Maybe address that question to the author of the article? I know they did take slaves during some raids and other times just killed ’em all.

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