Churro yarns have long been the preferred choice for traditional Navajo weavings. Use this beautiful blanket weight Churro yarn for large and small weaving projects. This Churro yarn collection is hand-dyed using low-impact prepared powder dyes, a process that is well suited to the dry regions of the western US because it requires very little water. Each dyebath can be re-used many times simply by refreshing the color in the existing water. These yarns are suitable for knitted and crocheted projects and make a great gift for those who enjoy high-quality yarns made in the USA.
The Navajo-Churro sheep, a descendent of the Churra sheep of Spain, was first brought to North America by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Many Native American tribes in the west of the United States acquired Churro sheep from the explorers and the breed became extremely popular in the Rio Grande Valley region. The Navajo tribe in particular prized the Churro because the long, dense fibers of the wool have a very low lanolin content, making it ideal for spinning without washing and easy to dye.
By the mid-20th century Government cross-breeding programs had brought the Churro sheep to the brink of extinction. Efforts to preserve the breed began in the 1970s and continue to this day. The Navajo-Churro Sheep Association was established in 1986 to help preserve the species by maintaining breed standards through pedigree documentation. Today, more than 6,000 Churro sheep thrive in the United States, thanks to careful conservation and breed perpetuation measures.