Wool comes from sheep.
90% of the sheep around the
world produce wool.
1 sheep can produce between 2
and 30 pounds of wool yearly.
Wool from 1 sheep is called a
From many it’s called a Clip.
These sheep usually produce the heaviest fleeces
because their fibers, though coarser, grow the longest.
Hand spinners prefer wool from the long wool breeds
because it is easier to spin.
Medium wool sheep, raised more for meat than fiber,
produce the lightest weight, least valuable fleeces.
Medium wool is usually made into blankets, sweaters,
or socks or it is felted.
Fine wool sheep produce fleeces which usually have
the greatest value due to their smaller fiber diameter
and versatility of use. Garments made from fine wool
are less likely to itch.
Hair sheep shed their coats and produce no usable
fibers, should be discarded. Their inclusion in a wool
clip can contaminate the entire clip. Raising hair sheep
with wooled sheep can affect fleece quality . Hair will
not accept dye.
Types of Wool
Properties of Wool
Naturally elastic , wool returns to its original form quickly after
pressure is removed.
Can fold 1/3rd of it’s weight in water and still not be damp. Wool
absorbs dyes deeply, so color changes are permanent except
under extreme and prolonged fading conditions.
Retains heat due to the pockets of air formed by crimps in the wool.
Wool functions as a "temperature regulator" so it can protect the
body in both cold and warm conditions.
Do not soil easily and are not easily spotted by grease and oils. Wool
does not wrinkle easily. It is resistant to wear and tear. It is
lightweight and versatile.
When exposed to flame, it chars or smolders. Wool is self-
extinguishing. When the flame is removed, burning stops. It will not
support combustion. This is why wool blankets are recommended
for use in extinguishing small fires.
2. Cleaning Fleece
The fleece immediately after shearing has a
lot of contaminants that need to be
removed by hand or sometimes by washing.
3. Skirting Fleece
The wool from the back end of the sheep, their legs and
sometimes their belly is too full of manure to use. These
are referred to as "tags" (as in the phrase "tag end").
These are removed first before washing the fleece; this
process is called skirting, as all the edges of the wool
coat are removed. The fleeces are also sorted into the
various types: fine from coarse and short from long.
4. Washing and Scouring
In the scouring process the wool undergoes several soaks
and rinses to remove grease and dirt until the wash water
remains clean. It is preferable to let wool soak and avoid
Each subsequent wash is a weaker solution of soap or
alkaline until the final wash is only water. Between each
wash the wool is pressed or squeezed to remove excess
At each wash step the wash water can be retained for
subsequent batches of wool until the first wash becomes to
dirty for further use.
The washed and dried wool is then "teased" or "picked" -
the beginning of the process of opening up the locks of wool
and turning it into a consistent web. The wool is put through
a picker which opens the locks and blows the fluffy wool into
a room. At the same time a special spinning oil is added
which helps the wool fibers slide against each other but also
helps them stick together as a fine web through the
Carding is gently spreading washed and dried
wool in preparation for further processing.
The final step in the carding process divides the web into
small strips called pencil rovings. These are collected on
large spools on the end of the card. These spools of pencil
roving will be placed on the spinning frame to make yarn.
The roving as it comes off the card has no twist. It is held
together by the oil and natural hooks that exist on the
surface of the wool fibers. The spinning frame will put the
actual twist on the roving and turn it into yarn. This is
collected on wooden bobbins. The frame we have is small
but it can spin up to 90 threads at one time.
9.Wind and/or Skeining
When the wooden bobbins are full of yarn, they are placed
on a cone winder and the yarn is transferred to paper
cones for use in weaving and knitting machines. It could
also be put into skeins of yarn which are the form that
knitters like to use.
There are many ways of finishing the yarn. It is
sometimes necessary to remove the
lubricant by washing, which also "sets the
twist" which allows the fibers to open up,
fluff out and make a loftier yarn. Sometimes
the wool is woven or knitted directly from
the cone and is washed and blocked in its
final form (as cloth, socks, sweaters, etc.)
• Wool is very resilient and its texture allows it
to very quickly recover from crushing or
indenting caused by footsteps or furniture.
This keeps the rug looking new and fresh for
longer periods of time.
• Wool has a natural ability to resist staining
and soiling, a 30% higher rate of stain
resistance than even the best synthetic
This is because of the natural light lanolin
that coats the surface of the wool. This
coating helps stop dirt and stains from
actually penetrating the wool leaving any
soiling on or near the surface. That’s why
spills on wool is very easy to clean.
Woolen covers are
of the durability,
water and flame
Alternative to Wool
Cotton flannel, Polyester fleece,
and other synthetic fibers wash
easily, keep their bright colors,
cost less, and don't contribute to
sheep cruelty that is associated