2:48 pm on Thursday, March 26th, 2015
- The most widely known sheep product is wool , which is used in many different types of clothing. It’s also used to make carpets and other diverse products, such as being used to fill mattresses and create tennis ball covers.
- Lanolin or wool wax, is a byproduct of wool. Lanolin is used in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, as well it is used in making tape, printing inks and motor oils. Almost all beauty aids such as lipsticks, mascara and shampoos contain lanolin.
- Sheep cheese is used to make some of the world’s most famous cheeses . Cheeses such as Rogquefort, Feta and Ricotta are made using sheep’s milk. Sheep’s milk is also used to make yogurt, butter and ice cream.
- The skins from the sheep are used to create high quality leather. Also, sheepskin is commonly used to make the chamois cloth that is used for car washing.
- Persian lambskin is often used in fur coats and in fur trimmed accessories.
- Alternative uses for wool are increasing. For example, bricks reinforced with wool are stronger and less toxic than traditional bricks.
- Wool is being used for science and technology as the wool proteins are being used to create new wound dressings, bone graft implants and medical sutures.
As you have just read, you can see just how versatile sheep are and how they are used for so many items. So when you next wear your wool sweater, remember how amazing sheep really are!
2:47 pm on Thursday, March 19th, 2015
- This industry produces around 2.1 tons of wool per year. The top wool producing country is Australia, which makes about one fifth of the total wool production.
- This industry employs millions of people worldwide in the production, harvesting and throughout many processing stages.
- Wool is the world’s leading animal fiber and is produced in around 100 countries on around half a million farms.
- The yearly retail value of wool products is around US$80 Billion.
- There is nearly 816,000 tons of fabric produced yearly by this industry.
- A full two thirds of the wool harvest is used in the manufacturing of garments, and about one third is used for carpets, upholstery and rugs.
- This industry takes care of more than one billion sheep, with a high focus on animal welfare.
- There is over two million tons of yarn produced yearly.
- The IWTO (International Wool, Textile Organization) represents more than 200,000 commercial farms and several million small farms worldwide. They also represent more than 4000 wool and textile manufacturing companies.
- As of Jan 1, 2014 there were 5.21 million sheep in the United States.
- Australian merino wool is generally considered the highest quality, which is due to several factors. The primary factor is the experience and expertise of Australian farmers and how they select superior animals for breeding.
Wool is nature’s answer to our clothing and fiber needs. This natural fiber outperforms man made fibers, and can be used for a wide variety of garments and products. When you buy your next wool garment, you can feel confident that you are supporting a natural and environmentally friendly product.
5:51 pm on Thursday, March 12th, 2015
The sheep shearing process is where the wool fleece of a sheep is cut off by a shearer. This is a specialized process that requires a lot of skill so as to not injure the sheep. There are a few steps and important things to consider with regard to sheep shearing. Here is a list of some of those processes and general considerations.
- A sheep will be taken from the catching pen and then taken to the stand on the shearing board. Then the actual shearing is done using electric shears. A professional sheep shearer can shear a sheep in under a minute. The shearing is typically done in the spring in 8 hour shifts.
- Skirting the fleece is done right after the sheep is sheared. This is the process where you take the raw fleece and basically take out all the stuff that you do not want in the fleece. Things like twigs, skin fragments and leaves can be removed.
- Packaging of the wool is done after the skirting. Small producers put the fleece in cardboard boxes or plastic garbage bags. The wool will be pressed from large producers and the fleece will be put in large square bales, with clear plastic. The wool is then stored in a dry, clean place until its ready for market.
- Here are some world records for sheep shearing; One sheep was sheared in 38 seconds, 720 sheep sheared in 9 hours and the blade shearing record is 321 sheep in 7 hours and 40 minutes.
Shearing is a crucial and valuable step in the process of getting the wool fleece off the sheep and into the hands of producers who then create various wool items.
5:01 pm on Thursday, March 5th, 2015
Wool is an amazing natural fiber that has many benefits and can be used for so many items. The question is; what are the steps needed in order to process wool from sheep, which then goes into producing fabrics. Here are the major steps involved in wool processing:
- Shearing of the sheep is typically done once per year, often in the spring. The fleece recovered from a sheep can weigh between 6 – 18 pounds.
- Grading and sorting of the fleece, is the breaking up of the fleece based on quality.
- Cleaning and scouring is done to the wool to remove contaminants such as; sand, dirt and grease.
- Carding is the process that disentangles the wool and straightens it so its suitable for processing.
- Threads are formed by spinning together the wool to create one strand of yarn.
- Weaving is the process in which the yarn is woven into a fabric. There are two basic weaves; the plain weave and the twill. Woolen yarns come from fabric using the plain weave, and worsted yarns are created using the twill weave.
- Finishing is the process where the wool fabric undergoes a series of finishing procedures. These processes are: fulling (fabric is immersed in water to make the fibers interlock); crabbing (this permanently sets the interlock); decating (which is shrink proofing) and sometimes the fibers are dyed.
Wool is an exceptionally practical and beneficial fiber that nature has provided for us. It can be used year round due to it’s comfort and heat regulating abilities. Go ahead and enjoy nature’s gift to us with this incredible fiber.
4:30 pm on Thursday, February 26th, 2015
There are many different types of wool that can be used for clothing items. Wool is the fiber that grows on certain animals like; sheep, goat, camel, and rabbits. Since wool comes from a variety of animals, there are several different varieties, each with its own unique properties. We will go over some of the more popular types of this amazing fiber.
- Merino wool comes from merino sheep and is very popular due its very high quality. This wool produces a very fine sheep fleece and is very soft and breathable. Merino sheep produce a much finer fiber that standard sheep’s wool, which means it does not have an itchy or coarse feel to the fiber. Most merino sheep are raised in the mountain regions of Australia and New Zealand.
- Cashmere is a very soft fiber that comes from the Kashmir goat. Since each goat can only produce a few ounces of cashmere per year, this causes cashmere to be one of the most expensive fibers in the world.
- Angora wool is an amazingly soft fiber that comes from the fur of an angora rabbit. Angora wool has the highest heat retention ability of any natural fiber. This wool is very fragile because the fibers are so fine, which means pure angora fibers are combined with other wool to make garments.
Wool is certainly an amazing fiber that has many benefits. It is breathable, water resistant, and helps to wick away moisture from the body. Go ahead and enjoy what nature has provided us with, in this perfect fiber that is practical and beautiful.
4:30 pm on Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Stains can happen in an instant, so its good to be prepared with some suede cleaning tips. Suede is a beautiful material and will provide many years of enjoyment. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind that will keep your garment looking great for many years.
- If a wet stain occurs, fast action is very important. Use a white dry cloth or paper towel and try to blot up the stain as quickly as possible. Be careful to blot and not rub the stain as you do not want to push the stain into the nap. After you have cleaned the stain, let the suede dry at room temperature, as applying heat may darken the suede and leave spots where the stain occurred.
- Dry stains can occur over time due to dirt and dust that settle in the nap of suede. The first step is to rub up the nap with a dry clean cloth. Then brush the suede with a soft bristle brush. If the stain is still there, you can use a clean pencil eraser to rub it off.
- Once you have cleaned the stains, its best to apply a suede water and stain repellent to protect against future stains and water spots. Make sure you follow the product application instructions.
- Suede garments should be taken to a professional cleaner at least every other year. This cleaning process will deeply clean and restore the nap to allow your suede to look like new.
You will always be in style with suede, so follow these basic tips to keep it looking great for many years to come.
11:43 pm on Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
Due to wool’s amazing properties, it makes for a very safe and green option for your home. It has some very unique and valuable qualities which makes it ideal for use all around your home. Most people know about wool rugs and sweaters, but wool is also being used for some lesser known products that help to make your household safer and greener. We will look into some of these uses and qualities of this natural fiber that makes it such a green and safe choice for your home.
- Use wool for your home insulation. Its a natural, renewable and sustainable product that requires a lot less energy to produce than its man made counterparts. Also, due to wool’s very high inflammation point, it will help to reduce the spread of fire in a home. Another benefit is that unlike fiberglass insulation, wool is very safe to handle, which makes it easy to install.
- Wool rugs make an ideal choice for babies to crawl on, due to its benefits. Wool is naturally fire resistant but benefits your baby in other ways as well. Due to wool being springy, it allows for a high level of comfort for your active, crawling baby. Also, wool is very stain resistant due to its protective outer layer which helps to keep dirt on top of the carpet. This will make baby stain cleanup much easier.
Nature has given us an amazing natural fiber in wool, so go ahead and use it all around your house as a safe and greener choice.
4:28 pm on Thursday, February 5th, 2015
Medical sheepskin has some amazing and very real benefits. Medical grade sheepskin is different from just any regular sheepskin. There are some distinct characteristics that go into creating a medical sheepskin. The Australian Medical Sheepskin Standard is the agreement that sets the standards for medical sheepskins and assures consumers they are getting a genuine medical grade sheepskin. There are some important aspects that a sheepskin must meet in order to fulfill the requirements of the Australian Medical Sheepskin Standard. They are as follows:
- The leather – It must be able to withstand washing through a commercial laundry machine at a high temperature. This is important for proper thermal disinfection of the sheepskin.
- The wool – Wool type, length and the final finish are important components of a medical sheepskin. These wool fibers need to have a diameter that is 26-34 µm and be 25- 30 mm long.
- There is a designation for urine resistance. There will be the letters UR to indicate that the sheepskin has increased resistance to urine. Sheepskins that do not have the UR stamp will break down faster in the presence of urine. This sheepskin is also very suitable for incontinent patients.
- Medical sheepskin color coding – High temperature sheepskins must be colored green. This means the sheepskin can be washed at 80 degrees celsius and dried at 60 degrees celsius without deterioration. This is very important for proper sheepskin and wool disinfection. This makes the green colored coded sheepskin the highest quality medical sheepskin, which is ideal for hospitals or nursing homes.
Now you have an overview of medical grade sheepskins and their qualities which will ensure you know what to look for to get a genuine Australian Medical Sheepskin.
3:52 pm on Thursday, January 29th, 2015
Wool area rugs have many benefits over wall to wall carpeting. While carpeting can be nice, its not easy to replace and it takes more cleaning due to it being much larger than an area rug. We will explore some of the benefits of area rugs and in particular wool area rugs.
- Change the look and feel of any room very quickly with a new area rug. You can easily find an area rug that matches the color of some new furniture you bought or just change the look of your room.
- Wool area rugs are very resilient due to wool being naturally springy. This allows the fibers to recover very quickly from indents by furniture. Also, it will allow the area rug to look fresh and new for much longer.
- Wool is very stain resistant, which keeps your area rugs cleaner. Wool has a coating of natural lanolin which helps to stop dirt and stains from penetrating the wool and leaves any soiling near the surface. This makes area rug cleaning very easy.
- Wool is very flame resistant making it a safe choice for any room.
- Wool area rugs come in many beautiful styles and colors, giving you huge flexibility to match up a rug with your room’s style.
- Due to wool’s natural crimps, this causes the fibers to be naturally springy, which makes these area rugs very comfortable for walking.
Go ahead and explore the unmatched beauty and comfort that comes from wool area rugs. These rugs will provide you with many years of comfort and beauty for any room.
3:28 pm on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Wool is an amazing natural fiber that has many great qualities that make it a very useful and beautiful fiber. However, not all wool is the same, as there is quite a variation in the quality that is sold. This is why the price can vary so much as some wool will be of higher quality and thus worth more. There are many factors that determine the quality of this fiber and thus it’s value. Here is a list of some those factors.
- The fiber diameter of wool is the single most important factor that determines quality and price. Generally, merino wool is the highest quality wool because of its fineness which creates a very soft fiber. Simply put, the finer the wool is, the more valuable it is.
- Uniformity of the fiber diameter is another factor. The more uniform the this fiber is, the higher value it has.
- The color of wool is also very important to its value. Wool that is white or off-white can accept a wider variety of dyes that are used in making various fabrics.
- Staple strength determines the fibers ability to withstand the production process. The higher the staple strength, the less waste that is produced.
There are some other factors as well, but here you have some of the main qualities that determines the value. Wool is truly an amazing fiber with its moisture absorption abilities and being very breathable. Go ahead and enjoy this valuable and very practical fiber.