sheep wool

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An introduction to wool judging : 

An introduction to wool judging By Susan SchoenianSheep & Goat SpecialistUniv. of MD Coop. Extensionwww.sheepandgoat.com

Sheep vary considerably in the type of wool they produce. : 

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.

Breeds of sheep are grouped according to the type of wool they grow. : 

Breeds of sheep are grouped according to the type of wool they grow. FineRambouillet, Merino Crossbred (fine x medium)Targhee, Corriedale, Columbia Medium (fine x long)Suffolk, Hampshire, Dorset, Cheviot, Montadale, Southdown, Shropshire, Tunis, Polypay Long (coarse)Romney, Border Leicester, Lincoln, Cotswold Carpet (double-coated)Scottish Blackface, Karakul, Icelandic Hair (shedding) - not shearedKatahdin, Dorper, Barbado Rambouillet (fine wool) sheep

Talk like a woolgrower : 

Talk like a woolgrower

FleeceThe wool from one sheep. : 

FleeceThe wool from one sheep. Sheared off in one piece. Grease or raw wool is wool as it is shorn from the sheep.

ClipThe amount of wool shorn from the sheep in one flock. : 

ClipThe amount of wool shorn from the sheep in one flock.

Fineness – fiber diameter : 

Fineness – fiber diameter Thickness of the wool fiberMeasured in microns (one millionth of a meter - µ)

Fineness - fiber diameter : 

Fineness - fiber diameter Fine$$$$ Crossbred Medium LongCoarse Grade refers to the relative diameter of the wool fibers (fineness). Thicker Thinner < 17µ > 40 µ

Fiber diameter : 

Fiber diameter  Coarser  Coarser BritchBreech(hairy)  Short, dirty, kinky Short, dirty Polypay

CrimpThe natural curl or waviness in the wool fiber. : 

CrimpThe natural curl or waviness in the wool fiber. Fine wool usually has more crimp per inch than coarse (long) wool.

StapleRefers to the length of a (unstretched) lock of shorn wool. : 

StapleRefers to the length of a (unstretched) lock of shorn wool. Coarse wools are usually longer than finer wools. Fine Long, coarse Medium

Vegetable matter (VM)Any material of plant origin found in the fleece (hay, grass, seeds, etc.) : 

Vegetable matter (VM)Any material of plant origin found in the fleece (hay, grass, seeds, etc.) High VM lowers yield.

TagWool that has manure attached to it. : 

TagWool that has manure attached to it.

LanolinA natural oil extracted from sheep’s wool. : 

LanolinA natural oil extracted from sheep’s wool. Also called wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease. Used to make ointments and cosmetics.

SkirtingRemoving the stained, unusable, or undesirable portions of a fleece (bellies, top knots, tags). : 

SkirtingRemoving 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.

Wool judging : 

Wool judging

Wool judging score card : 

Wool judging score card 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. : 

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)

Vegetable matter affects yield : 

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 : 

Length Look for uniformity of length Staple length adds weight to the fleece more than any other characteristic.

Quality or fineness : 

Quality or fineness Appropriate grade for breed or 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. : 

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.

PurityFreedom from pigmented fibers, hair and kemp. : 

PurityFreedom from pigmented fibers, hair and kemp. Black fiber/hairs HairKemp The commercial wool market favors white wool that can be dyed any color. From a hair sheep

CharacterGeneral appearance of a fleece: crimp, handle, and color. : 

CharacterGeneral appearance of a fleece: crimp, handle, and color.

Weathered tipsAffects dyeing : 

Weathered tipsAffects dyeing “Tippy” wool

Wool classingGrades at the Maryland Wool Pool : 

Wool classingGrades at the Maryland Wool Pool Wool sold to the niche (specialty) markets typically brings a lot more money.

Do you have any questions? : 

Do you have any questions? I really love wool!