Wool Judging

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A PDF copy of the slides from the Introduction to Wool Judging presentation by University of Maryland Extension Sheep & Goat Specialist Susan Schoenian.

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Wool Judging

  1. 1. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 An introduction to wool judging Susan Schoenian Sheep & Goat Specialist Univ. of Maryland Extension sschoen@umd.edu www.sheepandgoat.com Hair Wool Artificial selection Mouflon – ancestor to all domestic sheep breeds S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 1
  2. 2. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Wool history • First commodity to be traded worldwide • Columbus brought sheep to Cuba and the Dominican Republic on his second voyage to America in 1493. • In Colonial times – Massachusetts passed a law requiring young people to spin – Spinning duties fell to the eldest unmarried daughter – Wool trading in the colonies was a punishable offense (punishment was cutting off the right hand) – Despite the King’s attempts to disrupt wool commerce, the wool industry flourished in America Sheep vary considerably in the type of wool they produce. Fine wool from Merino Carpet wool from a Karakul One type of wool is not better than the other. They just have different uses. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 2
  3. 3. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Breeds of sheep are grouped according to the type of wool they grow. • Fine Rambouillet, Merino • Crossbred (fine x medium) Targhee, Corriedale, Columbia • Medium (fine x long) Suffolk, Hampshire, Dorset, Cheviot, Montadale, Southdown, Shropshire, Tunis, Polypay • Long (coarse) Romney, Romney Border Leicester Lincoln Leicester, Lincoln, Cotswold • Carpet or double-coated Scottish Blackface, Karakul, Icelandic • Hair (shedding) - not sheared Katahdin, Dorper, Barbado, St. Croix Rambouillet (fine wool) sheep Talk like a woolgrower S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 3
  4. 4. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Fleece The wool from one sheep. Sheared off in one piece. Grease or raw wool is wool as it is shorn from the sheep. Clip The amount of wool shorn from the sheep in one flock. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 4
  5. 5. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Fineness – fiber diameter Thickness of the wool fiber Measured in microns (one millionth of a meter - µ) Fineness - fiber diameter Long Coarse Medium Crossbred Fine $$$$ Thicker Thinner > 40 µ < 17µ Grade refers to the relative diameter of the wool fibers (fineness). S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 5
  6. 6. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Fiber diameter Short, dirty Coarser Coarser Britch Breech (hairy) Short, dirty, kinky Polypay Crimp The natural curl or waviness in the wool fiber. Fine wool usually has more crimp per inch than coarse (long) wool. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 6
  7. 7. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Staple Refers to the length of a (unstretched) lock of shorn wool. Long, Long coarse Medium Coarse wools are usually longer than finer wools. wools Fine Vegetable matter (VM) Any material of plant origin found in the fleece (hay, grass, seeds, etc.) High VM lowers yield. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 7
  8. 8. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Tag Wool that has manure attached to it. Lanolin A natural oil extracted from sheep’s wool. Used to make ointments and cosmetics. Also called wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 8
  9. 9. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Skirting Removing the stained, unusable, or undesirable portions of a fleece (bellies, top knots, tags). Show fleeces and other high value fleeces should be skirted at the time of shearing. shearing Wool judging S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 9
  10. 10. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Wool judging score card Characteristic Points Estimated l E ti t d clean yield i ld 35 Length 25 Quality or fineness 10 Soundness (strength) 10 Purity 10 Character and color 10 Total points 100 You will judge “like” (same type or grade) kinds of wool. Yield The amount of clean wool that remains after scouring. Expressed as a percentage. Wool yield is quite variable: 40 to 70%. Long wools have higher yields than fine wools, due to less grease. Bulky fleeces have higher yields. Clean wool yield = Raw wool – shrinkage (VM, grease, impurities) S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 10
  11. 11. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Vegetable matter affects yield Other contaminants: soil, dust, polypropylene from tarps, feed sacks, and hay baling twine, paint, skin, external parasites, and foreign objects. Length Staple length adds weight to the fleece more than any other characteristic. Look for uniformity of length S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 11
  12. 12. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Quality or fineness Appropriate grade for breed or type type. Look for uniformity of grade (fineness). Finer wools are permitted less variability. Soundness (strength) Tender wool is wool that is weak and/or breaks due to poor nutrition or sickness. This wool does not have a break or tender spot. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 12
  13. 13. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Purity Freedom from pigmented fibers, hair and kemp. Black fiber/hairs Hair Kemp From a hair sheep The commercial wool market favors white wool that can be dyed any color. Character General appearance of a fleece: crimp, handle, and color. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 13
  14. 14. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Weathered tips Affects dyeing “Tippy” wool Wool classing at the Maryland Wool Pool 2008 price 2009 price Grade Type of wool per lb. per lb. Choice white-face Wool from fine wool and their crosses: $ 0.76 $ 0.55 Rambouillet, Merino, and Targhee; some Corriedale, Columbia, and Polypay Medium white-face Wool from white-face medium wool meat breeds: $ 0.55 $ 0.46 Dorset, Cheviot, Texel, Montadale, etc. Coarse white-face Wool from long wool breeds: Romney, Border $ 0.49 $ 0.40 Leicester, Lincoln, Cotswold, etc. Non white-face Wool from breeds with dark fibers and color hairs $ 0.47 $ 0.38 on their faces and legs: Hampshire, Suffolk, Shropshire, Southdown, Tunis and speckled- faced sheep. Short Less than 3 in. length. Lamb’s wool, tags, belly $ 0.39 $ 0.30 wool, old wool, dirty wool, tender wool, Black or gray wool or fleeces from hair sheep or their crosses are not accepted. Wool sold to the niche (specialty) markets typically brings a lot more money. S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 14
  15. 15. An Introduction to Wool Judging 2/26/2010 Do you have any questions? I really love wool! S. Schoenian - Univ. of MD Extension 15

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