Wool is the fiber derived from the fur of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of other mammals such as goats, llamas and rabbits may also be called wool. Fur is a body hair of any non-human Mammal, also known as the Pelage. Mammals ( class Mammalia) are a class of Vertebrate Animals characterized by the presence of Sweat glands, including sweat glands The domestic goat ( Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat Domesticated from the Wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe The llama ( Lama glama) is a South American Camelid, widely used as a Pack animal by the Incas and other natives of the Andes Rabbits are small Mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world Wool has two qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it has scales which overlap like shingles on a roof and it is crimped; in some fleeces the wool fibers have more than 20 bends per inch. Wool classing is an occupation in which people are trained to produce uniform predictable low risk lines of Wool.
Wool's scaling and crimp make it easier to spin the fleece. Lamb, hogget, and mutton are the meat of Domestic sheep. The meat of an animal in its first year is lamb; that of an older sheep is hogget The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. "Auctioneer" redirects here For the DC Comics supervillain see Auctioneer (comics. Wool classing is an occupation in which people are trained to produce uniform predictable low risk lines of Wool. Spinning is an ancient textile art in which plant, animal or synthetic Fibers are twisted together to form Yarn (or thread They help the individual fibers attach to each other so that they stay together. Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have a greater bulk than other textiles and retain air, which causes the product to retain heat. Insulation also works both ways; bedouins and tuaregs use wool clothes to keep the heat out. The Bedouin, (from the Arabic (ar بدوي pl badū) are a desert-dwelling Arab Nomadic pastoralist, or previously The Tuareg (also Twareg or Touareg, Amazigh: Imuhagh / Itargiyen, besides regional ethnyms are a Nomadic
The amount of crimp corresponds to the thickness of the wool fibers. A fine wool like merino may have up to a hundred crimps per inch, while the coarser wools like karakul may have as few as one to two crimps per inch. The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. Hair, by contrast, has little if any scale and no crimp and little ability to bind into yarn. On sheep, the hair part of the fleece is called kemp. The relative amounts of kemp to wool vary from breed to breed, and make some fleeces more desirable for spinning, felting or carding into batts for quilts or other insulating products. Spinning is an ancient textile art in which plant, animal or synthetic Fibers are twisted together to form Yarn (or thread Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting condensing and pressing fibers Carding is the processing of brushing raw or washed Fibers to prepare them as Textiles A large variety of fibers can be carded anything from Dog hair, to
Wool possesses much greater ability to return to its natural length after being stretched than any artificial fiber. In water or steam, wool can stretch to about twice its length without breaking. Because of elasticity woollen garments may be stretched or crushed without losing their shape. Also, this fiber felts readily. This is brought about by the use of heat, moisture and pressure being applied during the manufacturing processes.
Wool fibers are hygroscopic. This means wool has the power to readily absorb and give off moisture. It can for instance, absorb moisture up to one-third of its own weight. Synthetic fibers can only absorb 2-3 per cent of moisture before they begin to feel wet. Additionally, wool absorbs sound and reduces noise level considerably like many other fabrics. Wool is generally a creamy white color, although some breeds of sheep produce natural colors such as black, brown, silver and random mixes.
Wool is harder to ignite than most synthetic and cotton fibres used in equivalent products (higher ignition temperature); it has lower rate of flame spread; low heat release and low heat of combustion; doesn't melt or drip; forms a char which is insulating and self-extinguishes; and contributes less to toxic gases and smoke than other flooring products when used in carpets. Wool carpets are specified for high safety environments such as trains and aircraft. Wool is often specified for fire-fighter garments.
Wool is static resistant as the retention of moisture within the fabric prevents a build-up of static electricity.
Wool straight off a sheep contains a high level of grease which contains valuable lanolin, as well as dirt, dead skin, sweat residue, and vegetable matter. Lanolin, also called Adeps Lanae, wool wax, wool fat, anhydrous wool fat or wool grease, is a greasy yellow substance secreted by This state is known as "grease wool" or "wool in the grease". Before the wool can be used for commercial purposes it must be scoured, or cleaned. Scouring may be as simple as a bath in warm water, or a complicated industrial process using detergent and alkali. A detergent (as a noun is a material intended to assist Cleaning. In Chemistry, an alkali (from Arabic: Al-Qaly القلي القالي) is a basic, ionic salt of an Alkali metal  In commercial wool, vegetable matter is often removed by the chemical process of chemical carbonization. Carbonization or Carbonisation is the term for the conversion of an Organic substance into Carbon or a carbon-containing residue through Pyrolysis In less processed wools, vegetable matter may be removed by hand, and some of the lanolin left intact through use of gentler detergents. This semi-grease wool can be worked into yarn and knitted into particularly water-resistant mittens or sweaters, such as those of the Aran Island fishermen. The Aran Islands ( Irish: Oileáin Árann, Aran Islands Dialect: ˈɑːrənʲ ˈhɑːrənʲəxə are a group of three Islands located Lanolin removed from wool is widely used in the cosmetics industry, such as hand creams.
After shearing, the wool is separated into five main categories: fleece (which makes up the vast bulk), broken, pieces, bellies and locks. Sheep shearing, shearing or clipping is the process by which the woollen fleece of a Sheep is cut off The latter four are pressed into wool packs and sold separately. The quality of fleece is determined by a technique known as wool classing, whereby a qualified woolclasser groups wools of similar gradings together to maximise the return for the farmer or sheep owner. Wool classing is an occupation in which people are trained to produce uniform predictable low risk lines of Wool. Prior to Australian auctions all Merino fleece wool is objectively measured for micron, yield (including the amount of vegetable matter), staple length, staple strength and sometimes color and comfort factor.
The quality of wool is determined by the following factors, fiber diameter, yield, staple length, color and staple strength. Fiber diameter is the single most important wool characteristic determining quality and price.
Merino wool is typically 3-5 inches in length and is very fine (between 12-24 microns). A micron ( Micrometre) is the measurement used to express the diameter of a Wool fibre The finest and most valuable wool comes from Merino hoggets. The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. Wool taken from sheep produced for meat is typically more coarse, and has fibers are 1. 5 to 6 inches in length. Damage or "breaks in the wool" can occur if the sheep is stressed while it is growing its fleece, resulting in a thin spot where the fleece is likely to break. 
Wool is also separated into grades based on the measurement of the wool's diameter in microns. These grades may vary depending on the breed or purpose of the wool. For example:
In general, anything finer than 25 microns can be used for garments, while coarser grades are used for outerwear or rugs. The finer the wool, the softer it will be, while coarser grades are more durable and less prone to pilling.
As the raw material has been readily available since the widespread domestication of sheep—and of goats, another major provider of wool— the use of felted or woven wool for clothing and other fabrics characterizes some of the earliest civilizations. The Tacuinum (sometimes Taccuinum) Sanitatis is a medieval handbook on wellness based on the Taqwin al‑sihha ar تقوين الصحة ("Tables Domestication (from Latin domesticus) refers to the process whereby a Population of Animals The domestic goat ( Capra aegagrus hircus) is a subspecies of goat Domesticated from the Wild goat of Southwest Asia and Eastern Europe Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting condensing and pressing fibers Prior to invention of shears - probably in the Iron Age - the wool was plucked out by hand or by bronze combs. This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age for the mythological Iron Age see Ages of Man. The oldest known European woollen textile, ca. 1500 BCE, was preserved in a Danish bog . Bog bodies, also known as bog people, are preserved Human bodies found in sphagnum bogs in Northern Europe, Great Britain and
In Roman times, wool, linen and leather clothed the European population: the cotton of India was a curiosity that only naturalists had heard of, and silk, imported along the Silk Road from China, was an extravagant luxury. Linen is a Textile made from the Fibers of the Flax plant Linum usitatissimum. Leather is a material created through the Tanning of hides and Skins of Animals primarily Cattlehide The Tanning process Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp The Silk Road, or Silk Routes, are an extensive interconnected network of Trade routes across the Asian continent connecting East South and Western Asia with the Pliny the Elder records in his Natural History that the reputation for producing the finest wool was enjoyed by Tarentum, where selective breeding had produced sheep with a superior fleece, but which required special care. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author Naturalis Historia ( Latin for "Natural History" is an Encyclopedia written Circa AD 77 by Pliny the Elder. Not to be confused with Toronto. Taranto ( Ancient Greek: Tarās; Modern Greek: Tarantas) is a coastal city in
In medieval times, as trade connections expanded, the Champagne fairs revolved around the production of woollen cloth in small centers such as Provins; the network that the sequence of annual fairs developed meant that the woollens of Provins might find their way to Naples, Sicily, Cyprus, Majorca, Spain and even Constantinople (Braudel, 316). Champagne is a historic province in the northeast of France, best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region's name Provins is a commune of France. Population (1999 11667 while 12814 people live in Provins and the surrounding built-up area The wool trade developed into serious business, the generator of capital. In the thirteenth century, the wool trade was the economic engine of the Low Countries and of Central Italy; by the end of the following century Italy predominated, though in the 16th century Italian production turned to silk (Braudel p 312). The Low Countries, the historical region of de Nederlanden, are the countries on low-lying land around the delta of the Rhine, Scheldt Both pre-industries were based on English raw wool exports— rivalled only by the sheepwalks of Castile, developed from the fifteenth century— which were a significant source of income to the English crown, which from 1275 imposed an export tax on wool called the "Great Custom". A former kingdom, Castile (Castilla kasˈt̪iʎa or) gradually merged with its neighbors to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain The importance of wool to the English economy can be shown by the fact that since the 14th Century, the presiding officer of the House of Lords has sat on the "Woolsack", a chair stuffed with wool. The House of Lords is the second house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as "the Lords" The Woolsack is the seat of the Lord Speaker in the House of Lords, the Upper House of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Economies of scale were instituted in the Cistercian houses, which had accumulated great tracts of land during the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, when land prices were low and labour still scarce. Raw wool was baled and shipped from North Sea ports to the textile cities of Flanders, notably Ypres and Ghent, where it was dyed and worked up as cloth. Flanders (Vlaanderen Flandre Flandern is a geographical region located in parts of present day Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Ypres ( French, generally used in English French ipʁ English ˈiːprə Ieper (official name in Dutch, pronounced /ˈiːpər/ or Ypern Ghent (ˈɡɛnt Gent ʝɛnt in Dutch, Gand in French, and formerly Gaunt in English) is a City and a At the time of the Black Death, English textile industries accounted for about 10% of English wool production (Cantor 2001, 64); the English textile trade grew during the fifteenth century, to the point where export of wool was discouraged. Over the centuries, various British laws controlled the wool trade or required the use of wool even in burials. The smuggling of wool out of the country, known as owling, was at one time punishable by the cutting off of a hand. Owling was a common term for the smuggling of Sheep or Wool from England to another country particularly France. After the Restoration, fine English woollens began to compete with silks in the international market, partly aided by the Navigation Acts; in 1699 English crown forbade its American colonies to trade wool with anyone but England herself. The English Navigation Acts were a series of Laws which restricted the use of foreign Shipping and trade between England (later the Kingdom of Great
A great deal of the value of woollen textiles was in the dyeing and finishing of the woven product. In each of the centers of the textile trade, the manufacturing process came to be subdivided into a collection of trades, overseen by an entrepreneur in a system called by the English the "putting-out" system, or "cottage industry", and the Verlagssystem by the Germans. In this system of producing woolen cloth, until recently perpetuated in the production of Harris tweeds, the entrepreneur provides the raw materials and an advance, the remainder being paid upon delivery of the product. Harris Tweed ( Clò Mór or Clò na Hearadh in Gaelic) is a luxury Cloth that has been handwoven by the islanders on the Isles Written contracts bound the artisans to specified terms. Fernand Braudel traces the appearance of the system in the thirteenth-century economic boom, quoting a document of 1275 (Braudel, 317) The system effectively by-passed the guilds' restrictions. Fernand Braudel ( August 24 1902 &ndash November 27 1985) was the foremost French historian of the postwar era
Before the flowering of the Renaissance, the Medici and other great banking houses of Florence had built their wealth and banking system on their textile industry based on wool, overseen by the Arte della Lana, the wool guild: wool textile interests guided Florentine policies. The Arte della Lana was the wool guild of Florence during the Late Middle Ages and in the Renaissance. Francesco Datini, the "merchant of Prato", established in 1383 an Arte della Lana for that small Tuscan city. The sheepwalks of Castile shaped the landscape and the fortunes of the meseta that lies in the heart of the Iberian peninsula; in the sixteenth century, a unified Spain allowed export of Merino lambs only with royal permission. A former kingdom, Castile (Castilla kasˈt̪iʎa or) gradually merged with its neighbors to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. The German wool market—based on sheep of Spanish origin—did not overtake British wool until comparatively late. Australia's colonial economy was based on sheep raising and the Australian wool trade eventually overtook that of the Germans by 1845, furnishing wool for Bradford, which developed as the heart of industrialized woollens production. Bradford ( lies at the heart of the City of Bradford, a Metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England.
Due to decreasing demand with increased use of synthetic fibers, wool production is much less than what it was in the past. The collapse in the price of wool began in late 1966 with a 40% drop; with occasional interruptions, the price has tended down. The result has been sharply reduced production and movement of resources into production of other commodities, in the case of sheep growers, to production of meat.   
In December 2004 a bale of the world's finest wool, averaging 11. 8 micron, sold for 300,000 cents per kilogram at auction in Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne ( is the second most populous city in Australia, with a Metropolitan area population of approximately 3 This fleece wool tested with an average yield of 74. 5%, 68mm long, and had 40 newtons per kilotex strength. The result was $AUD279,000 for the bale. 
Global wool production is approximately 1. Lismore is a town in Victoria, Australia, located on the Hamilton Highway west of Melbourne. 3 million tonnes per annum of which 60% goes into apparel. Australia is the leading producer of wool which is mostly from merino sheep. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. New Zealand is the second largest producer of wool, but is the largest producer of crossbred wool. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island China is the third largest producer of wool. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Breeds such as Lincoln, Romney, Tukidale, Drysdale and Elliotdale produce coarser fibers, and wool off these sheep is usually used for making carpets. The Lincoln, sometimes called the Lincoln Longwool, is a breed of sheep from England. The Romney, formerly called the Romney Marsh or the Kent sheep is a "long-wool" sheep recognized as a breed in England by 1800
In the United States, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado also have large commercial sheep flocks and their mainstay is the Rambouillet (or French Merino). Texas ( is a state geographically located in the South Central United States and is also known as the Lone Star State. New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. The State of Colorado ( or chiefly by nonresidents) is a state located in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States of America. The Rambouillet is also known as the Rambouillet Merino or the French Merino There is also a thriving 'home flock' contingent of small scale farmers who raise small hobby flocks of specialty sheep for the hand spinning market. These small scale farmers may raise any type of sheep they wish, so the selection of fleeces is quite wide.
Global wool clip 2004/2005
Keeping with the times, organic wool is becoming more and more popular. This blend of wool is very limited in supply and much of it comes from New Zealand and Australia. Organic wool is becoming easier to find in clothing and other products, though these products often carry a higher price. Wool is environmentally preferable (as compared to petroleum-based Nylon or Polypropylene) as a material for carpets as well, in particular when combined with a natural binding and the use of formaldehyde-free glues. Overview Nylon is a Thermoplastic silky material first used commercially in a nylon- Bristled Toothbrush (1938 followed more famously by Polypropylene or polypropene ( PP) is a Thermoplastic Polymer, made by the Chemical industry and used in a wide variety of applications A carpet is any loom-woven felted textile or grass floor covering Formaldehyde is a Chemical compound with the formula H2CO It is the simplest Aldehyde —an organic compound containing a terminal Carbonyl
Animal rights groups have noted issues with the production of wool, such as Mulesing. Mulesing is the surgical removal of strips of wool-bearing wrinkle skin from around the breech of a Sheep.
In addition to clothing, wool has been used for blankets, horse rugs, saddle cloths, carpeting, felt, wool insulation (also see links) and upholstery. Clothing (also called clothes, accoutrements, accouterments, or habiliments) protects the Human body from extreme Weather A carpet is any loom-woven felted textile or grass floor covering Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting condensing and pressing fibers Wool felt covers piano hammers and it is used to absorb odors and noise in heavy machinery and stereo speakers. Ancient Greeks lined their helmets with felt and Roman legionnaires used breastplates made of wool felt. A helmet is a form of Protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries a variation of the hat
Wool has also been traditionally used to cover cloth diapers. "Nappy" redirects here For other uses see Nappy (disambiguation and Diaper (disambiguation. Wool fiber exteriors are hydrophobic (repel water) and the interior of the wool fiber is hygroscopic (attracts water; this makes a wool garment able to cover a wet diaper while inhibiting 'wicking' so outer garments remain dry. Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract Water Molecules from the surrounding environment through either absorption or Adsorption Wool felted and treated with lanolin is water resistant, air permeable, and slightly antibacterial, so it resists the buildup of odor. Lanolin, also called Adeps Lanae, wool wax, wool fat, anhydrous wool fat or wool grease, is a greasy yellow substance secreted by Some modern cloth diapers use felted wool fabric for covers, and there are several modern commercial knitting patterns for wool diaper covers. "Knit" redirects here See also KNIT and Knitted fabric.
Virgin wool is wool spun for the first time, as contrasted with shoddy. 
Shoddy or recycled wool is made by cutting or tearing apart existing wool fabric and respinning the resulting fibers. The manufacture of Textiles is one of the oldest of human technologies.  As this process makes the wool fibers shorter, the remanufactured fabric is inferior to the original. The recycled wool may be mixed with raw wool, wool noil, or another fiber such as cotton to increase the average fiber length. Noil is the short Fiber left over from Combing Wool or spinning Silk. Cotton is a soft staple Fibre that grows around the seeds of the cotton plant ( Gossypium sp Such yarns are typically used as weft yarns with a cotton warp. This article is about the fiber product For the type of joke see Shaggy dog story. WEFT Champaign 901FM is a Community radio station in Champaign Illinois, founded in 1981 and owned by Prairie Air Inc In Weaving, the warp is the set of lengthwise Yarns through which the Weft is woven This process was invented in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire and created a micro-economy in this area for many years. The Heavy Woollen District is so-called because of the nature of the Cloth manufactured in the towns of the central area of West Yorkshire. West Yorkshire is a Metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of
Ragg is a sturdy wool fiber made into yarn and used in many rugged applications like gloves. A glove ( Middle English from Old English glof) is a type of Garment (and more specifically a Fashion
Worsted is a strong, long-staple, combed wool yarn with a hard surface. Worsted (pronunciation) is the name of a Yarn, the Cloth made from this yarn and a yarn weight category Combing is a method for preparing Fiber for spinning by use of combs 
Woolen is a soft, short-staple, carded wool yarn typically used for knitting. Woollen ( American English: woolen) is the name of a Yarn and Cloth usually made from Wool. Staple is a term referring to naturally formed clusters or locks of Wool fibres throughout a fleece that are held together by cross fibres Carding is the processing of brushing raw or washed Fibers to prepare them as Textiles A large variety of fibers can be carded anything from Dog hair, to  In traditional weaving, woolen weft yarn (for softness and warmth) is frequently combined with a worsted warp yarn for strength on the loom. 
Many people consider themselves to be allergic to wool because they have an adverse reaction every time it touches their skin. However, a true allergy to wool is actually rare. Most people who have a reaction to wool do so because they have sensitive skin, and they would likely have a similar reaction to any coarse fiber. An allergy would require a person to have had a prior contact with the wool that would cause a cell-mediated hypersensitivity against it. People with sensitive skin who would like to wear wool can put a layer of softer fabric between the wool and their skin.
Being one of the biggest buyers of Merino wool, Ermenegildo Zegna has encouraged, supported and rewarded the efforts of the Australian wool producers since 1963 in the production of finer and softer wools. The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. Ermenegildo Zegna or Zegna (pronounced as ˈdzeɲa is an Italian fashion house that claims to be the world leader in fine men's clothing For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. In 1963 the first Ermenegildo Zegna Perpetual Trophy was presented in Tasmania for growers of "Superfine skirted Merino fleece. " In 1980, a national award, the Ermenegildo Zegna Trophy for Extrafine Wool Production was launched. In 2004 this award became known as the Ermenegildo Zegna Unprotected Wool Trophy. In 1998, an Ermenegildo Zegna Protected Wool Trophy was launched for fleece from sheep coated for around nine months of the year.
In 2002 the Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy was launched for wool that is 13. 9 micron and finer. Wool from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa may enter and a winner is named from each country. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Argentina topics. The Republic of South Africa (also known by other official names) is a country located at the southern tip of the continent of Africa  In April 2008 New Zealand won the coveted Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy for the first time with a fleece which measured 10. 8 microns. This contest awards the winning fleece weight with the same weight in gold as a prize, hence the name.
The New England Merino Field days which display local studs, wool and sheep are held during January, every two years (in even numbered years) around the Walcha, New South Wales district. History See also History of New England New England's earliest inhabitants were Algonquian -speaking Native Americans including the The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its Wool. Walcha (pronounced "wolka" is a town and parish at the south-eastern edge of the Northern Tablelands New South Wales, Australia. The Annual Wool Fashion Awards, which showcases the use of Merino wool by fashion designers, are hosted by the city of Armidale, New South Wales in March each year. Armidale (population 21660 is a university and cathedral city in northern New South Wales, Australia, in Armidale Dumaresq Council This event encourages young fashion designers to display their talents as well as established designers. During each May Armidale hosts the annual New England Wool Expo to display wool fashions, handicrafts, demonstrations, shearing competitions, yard dog trials and more. In July the annual Australian Sheep and Wool Show is held in Bendigo, Victoria. Bendigo is a regional city in central Victoria Australia, located in the City of Greater Bendigo. This is the largest sheep and wool show in the world, with goats and alpacas as well as woolcraft competitions and displays, fleece competitions, sheepdog trials, shearing and woolhandling.