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Wool judging

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This presentation was developed to teach youth about wool in preparation for 4-H skillathon competitions. It was developed by University of Maryland Extension Sheep & Goat Specialist Susan Schoenian.

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Wool judging

  1. 1. An introduction to wool judging<br />Susan SchoenianSheep & Goat SpecialistUniv. of Maryland Extensionsschoen@umd.eduwww.sheepandgoat.com<br />
  2. 2. Hair Wool <br />Artificial selection<br />Mouflon – ancestor to all domestic sheep breeds<br />
  3. 3. Wool history<br />First commodity to be traded worldwide<br />Columbus brought sheep to Cuba and the Dominican Republic on his second voyage to America in 1493.<br />In Colonial times<br />Massachusetts passed a law requiring young people to spin<br />Spinning duties fell to the eldest unmarried daughter <br />Wool trading in the colonies was a punishable offense (punishment was cutting off the right hand)<br />Despite the King’s attempts to disrupt wool commerce, the wool industry flourished in America<br />
  4. 4. Sheep vary considerably in the type of wool they produce.<br />Fine wool from Merino<br />Carpet wool from a Karakul<br />One type of wool is not better than the other. They just have different uses.<br />
  5. 5. Breeds of sheep are grouped according to the type of wool they grow.<br />FineRambouillet, Merino<br />Crossbred (fine x medium)Targhee, Corriedale, Columbia<br />Medium (fine x long)Suffolk, Hampshire, Dorset, Cheviot, Montadale, Southdown, Shropshire, Tunis, Polypay<br />Long (coarse)Romney, Border Leicester, Lincoln, Cotswold<br />Carpet or double-coatedScottish Blackface, Karakul, Icelandic<br />Hair (shedding) - not shearedKatahdin, Dorper, Barbado, St. Croix<br />Rambouillet (fine wool) sheep<br />
  6. 6. Talk like a woolgrower<br />
  7. 7. FleeceThe wool from one sheep. <br />Sheared off in one piece.<br />Grease or raw wool is wool as it is shorn from the sheep.<br />
  8. 8. ClipThe amount of wool shorn from the sheep in one flock.<br />
  9. 9. Fineness – fiber diameter<br />Thickness of the wool fiberMeasured in microns (one millionth of a meter - µ)<br />
  10. 10. Fineness - fiber diameter<br />LongCoarse<br />Medium<br />Crossbred<br />Fine$$$$<br />Thicker Thinner<br />&gt; 40 µ<br />&lt; 17µ<br />Grade refers to the relative diameter of the wool fibers (fineness).<br />
  11. 11. Fiber diameter<br />Short, dirty<br /> Coarser<br /> Coarser<br />BritchBreech(hairy)  <br />Short, dirty, kinky<br />Polypay<br />
  12. 12. CrimpThe natural curl or waviness in the wool fiber.<br />Fine wool usually has more crimp per inch than coarse (long) wool.<br />
  13. 13. StapleRefers to the length of a (unstretched) lock of shorn wool.<br />Long, coarse<br />Coarse wools are usually longer than finer wools.<br />Medium<br />Fine<br />
  14. 14. Vegetable matter (VM)Any material of plant origin found in the fleece (hay, grass, seeds, etc.) <br />High VM lowers yield.<br />
  15. 15. TagWool that has manure attached to it.<br />
  16. 16. LanolinA natural oil extracted from sheep’s wool.<br />Used to make ointments and cosmetics.<br />Also called wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease.<br />
  17. 17. SkirtingRemoving the stained, unusable, or undesirable portions of a fleece (bellies, top knots, tags).<br />Show fleeces and other high value fleeces should be skirted at the time of shearing.<br />
  18. 18. Wool judging<br />
  19. 19. Wool judging score card<br />You will judge “like” (same type or grade) kinds of wool.<br />
  20. 20. Yield The amount of clean wool that remains after scouring. Expressed as a percentage.<br />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.<br />Clean wool yield = Raw wool – shrinkage (VM, grease, impurities)<br />
  21. 21. Vegetable matter affects yield<br />Other contaminants: soil, dust, polypropylene from tarps, feed sacks, and hay baling twine, paint, skin, external parasites, and foreign objects.<br />
  22. 22. Length<br />Staple length adds weight to the fleece more than any other characteristic.<br />Look for uniformity of length<br />
  23. 23. Quality or fineness<br />Appropriate grade for breed or type.<br />Look for uniformity of grade (fineness).<br />Finer wools are permitted less variability.<br />
  24. 24. Soundness (strength)Tender wool is wool that is weak and/or breaks due to poor nutrition or sickness.<br />This wool does not have a break or tender spot.<br />
  25. 25. PurityFreedom from pigmented fibers, hair and kemp.<br />Black fiber/hairs<br />HairKemp<br />The commercial wool market favors white wool that can be dyed any color.<br />From a hair sheep<br />
  26. 26. CharacterGeneral appearance of a fleece: crimp, handle, and color.<br />
  27. 27. Weathered tipsAffects dyeing<br />“Tippy” wool<br />
  28. 28. Wool classingat the Maryland Wool Pool<br />Wool sold to the niche (specialty) markets typically brings a lot more money.<br />
  29. 29. Do you have any questions?<br />I really love wool!<br />

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