A bit of history for us wool-lovers:
The new vitality was also reflected in breeding programs. Nearly all the great cattle breeds—Jersey, Guernsey, Hereford, Aberdeen Angus, Ayrshire—were eighteenth-century creations. Sheep likewise were successfully manipulated to become the bundles of unnatural fleeciness we see today. A medieval sheep gave about a pound and a half of wool; re-engineered eighteenth-century sheep gave up to nine pounds. Underneath all that lovely fleece, sheep were gratifyingly plumper, too. Between 1700 and 1800, the average weight of sheep sold at Smithfield Market in London more than doubled, from thirty-eight pounds to eighty.
Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, p.138.
I may never be able to see another sheep without the phrase “bundles of unnatural fleeciness” flashing through my mind.