Sheep have been a valuable resource in the human history. The use of felt began early in the East-Turkey area, early as 4000 BC. Also in the Ancient Roman culture, clothing and felt hats were worn by the males.
Sheep wool for clothing, felt boots and blankets were discovered to have fabulous insulation properties to retain the low human body temperatures, and keep out the bitter cold of the Nordic winters. Thick felt boots are very effective against extreme cold, even as low as -40’C. Boots are very light to walk in, they were used both indoors and outdoors. Wool was spun and used for items like; socks, jumpers, pants, gloves, mittens and other textiles.
Animal husbandry sheep and wool textiles industry in the Nordic region dates back to the Viking era, there are real evidence and finds of the the early wool textile industry.
Finn sheep and Swedish Mountain cattle and the Icelandic horse, date back to the prehistoric animal husbandry.
It is very likely that in many families/small tribes sheep were viewed as too valuable to be killed for the dinner table, until the numbers had increased sufficiently to a large level. Sheep wool products are still regarded as valuable natural resources, both in spun wool products and in felt products, and it’s not likely to change any time soon.