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Karakul sheep

Karakul sheep (kăr´əkəl), breed native to central Asia. The newborn lambs usually have tightly curled black fur and are skinned before they are three days old to provide the commercial lambskin for which the sheep are raised. The finest pelts are often obtained from unborn lambs. A large percentage of this lambskin is classified as Persian lamb, though it may also be called karakul, broadtail, krimmer, or astrakhan, according to the quality and tightness of the curl. The lambs grow rapidly and produce good meat but are seldom raised for this purpose. The grown sheep are medium-sized and broad-tailed; their wool is a mixture of coarse and fine fibers, varying in color from black to shades of tan and gray, and is used in making carpeting and other heavy fabrics. Karakul sheep are raised in several countries of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the United States they are raised on a small scale, chiefly in Texas.

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karakul

karakul Breed of sheep from c Asia with curled, glossy fur on adults and wiry, coarse hair on young. The tightly curled, black or grey pelts derived from young karakul lambs are called “Persian lamb.”“Broadtail” pelts are obtained from still- or new-born lambs. This short, uncurled, glistening hair forms a pattern called moiré.

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karakul

kar·a·kul / ˈkarəkəl/ (also car·a·cul) • n. a sheep of an Asian breed with a dark, curled fleece when young. ∎  cloth or fur made from or resembling the fleece of such a sheep.

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