Some modern cloth diapers use felted wool fabric for covers, and there are several modern commercial knitting patterns for wool diaper covers. People use wool fiber to make clothing, blankets, and other things to keep warm. Francesco Datini, the "merchant of Prato", established in 1383 an Arte della Lana for that small Tuscan city.  The system effectively bypassed the guilds' restrictions. This effect has benefited desert peoples, as Bedouins and Tuaregs use wool clothes for insulation. In addition to clothing, wool has been used for blankets, horse rugs, saddle cloths, carpeting, insulation and upholstery. The result was A$279,000 for the bale. Prices are quoted at current market rates and are locked in for the season. The amount of crimp corresponds to the fineness of the wool fibers. Such yarns are typically used as weft yarns with a cotton warp. Recovered wools, employed mainly in woolens and blends, are often of inferior quality because of damage suffered during the recovery process. The raw wool (greasy) is processed into 'top'. Wool is characterized by waviness with up to 30 waves per inch (12 per centimetre) in fine fibres and 5 per inch (2 per centimetre) or less in coarser fibres. This bale was produced by the Hillcreston Pinehill Partnership and measured 11.6 microns, 72.1% yield, and had a 43 newtons per kilotex strength measurement. Updates? This option gives wool growers benefit from reduced transport, warehousing, and selling costs. The wool is characterized by its fineness and softness, and it will become thicker and coarser as the animal ages, at which point it will be considered sheep’s wool. Shoddy or recycled wool is made by cutting or tearing apart existing wool fabric and respinning the resulting fibers. In medieval times, as trade connections expanded, the Champagne fairs revolved around the production of wool cloth in small centers such as Provins. It’s a pretty amazing fiber. After shearing, the wool is separated into four main categories: fleece (which makes up the vast bulk), broken, bellies, and locks. In Australia before being auctioned, all Merino fleece wool is objectively measured for average diameter (micron), yield (including the amount of vegetable matter), staple length, staple strength, and sometimes color and comfort factor. Most wool comes from sheep and goats, but wool is also taken from camels, llamas, and special rabbit s. Wool is a natural material. Sheep shearing is the process by which the woolen fleece of a sheep is cut off. During each May, Armidale hosts the annual New England Wool Expo to display wool fashions, handicrafts, demonstrations, shearing competitions, yard dog trials, and more. The Oxford dictionary defines wool as the “ The German wool market – based on sheep of Spanish origin – did not overtake British wool until comparatively late. Forward selling: Some buyers offer a secure price for forward delivery of wool based on estimated measurements or the results of previous clips. Selective sheep breeding eliminated most of the long, coarse hairs forming a protective outer coat, leaving the insulating fleecy undercoat of soft, fine fibre. In commercial wool, vegetable matter is often removed by chemical carbonization. Worsted is a strong, long-staple, combed wool yarn with a hard surface. Because moisture absorption and release are gradual, wool is slow to feel damp and does not chill the wearer by too-rapid drying. , In December 2004, a bale of the then world's finest wool, averaging 11.8 microns, sold for AU$3,000 per kilogram at auction in Melbourne, Victoria. Also, a thriving home-flock contingent of small-scale farmers raise small hobby flocks of specialty sheep for the hand-spinning market.  Both industries, based on the export of English raw wool, were rivaled only by the 15th-century sheepwalks of Castile and were a significant source of income to the English crown, which in 1275 had imposed an export tax on wool called the "Great Custom". What is it about wool that deters odor so well? Wool is a natural fibre produced by sheep. Bleach Test Step 1 Cut a small swatch of the mystery fabric, about 2 inches square. Woolen yarns, usually made from shorter fibres, are thick and full and are used for such full-bodied items as tweed fabrics and blankets. Merino wool is typically 90–115 mm (3.5–4.5 in) in length and is very fine (between 12 and 24 microns). Researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology school of fashion and textiles have discovered a blend of wool and Kevlar, the synthetic fiber widely used in body armor, was lighter, cheaper and worked better in damp conditions than Kevlar alone. 1. the fine, soft, curly hair that forms the fleece of sheep and certain other animals. Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, hide and fur clothing from bison, angora from rabbits, and other types of wool from camelids. Wool fibers readily absorb moisture, but are not hollow. Wool fibre is chiefly composed of the animal protein keratin. 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, including the famous tweed cloth of Scotland. The finest bale of wool ever auctioned was sold for a seasonal record of AU$2690 per kilo during June 2008. The collapse in the price of wool began in late 1966 with a 40% drop; with occasional interruptions, the price has tended down. Unlike woolens, worsteds were woven from yarn spun from long-haired wool; moreover, the cloth is not fulled (that is, washed, mixed with fuller’s earth, and pounded in order to mat the…, …to the organization of the wool trade because it was intimately bound up with the finance of war. From our Merino wool supply chain to our Smartwool advocacy program to how we design our socks and apparel, we exist to help you play, live, and laugh in the great outdoors as often as you would like. This article was most recently revised and updated by, International Wool Textile Organisation - History of Wool, American Wool Association - Types of Wool and Processing, Quatr.us - What is wool?  This option gives wool growers the ability to set firm price targets, reoffer passed-in wool, and offer lots to the market quickly and efficiently. In 2008, 475 entries came from all states of Australia, with first and second prizes going to the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales fleeces. About 80 brokers and agents work throughout Australia. Kemp fibers are very coarse and shed out.. At the time of the Black Death, English textile industries accounted for about 10% of English wool production. Fernand Braudel traces the appearance of the system in the 13th-century economic boom, quoting a document of 1275. a ball of wool; I bought knitting wool for a cardigan. Wool definition is - the soft wavy or curly usually thick undercoat of various hairy mammals and especially the sheep made up of a matrix of keratin fibers and covered with minute scales.  The wool trade developed into serious business, a generator of capital. The quality of wool is determined by its fiber diameter, crimp, yield, color, and staple strength. Colour, usually whitish, may be brown or black, especially in coarse types, and coarse wools have higher lustre than fine types. These animals are known as camelids since they are similar to camels, and alpacas are native to South America.  Growers through certain brokers can allocate their wool to a sale and at what price their wool will be reserved. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Navigate parenthood with the help of the Raising Curious Learners podcast. The English textile trade grew during the 15th century, to the point where export of wool was discouraged. These grab samples are bulked, objectively measured, and a sample of not less than 4 kg (9 lb) is displayed in a box for the buyer to examine. In 1980, a national award, the Ermenegildo Zegna Trophy for Extrafine Wool Production, was launched. 3. a fabric or garment of such wool. 'Worsted top' requires strong straight and parallel fibres. Wool that has had no previous use is described as new wool, or, in the United States, as virgin wool.  It is becoming easier to find in clothing and other products, but these products often carry a higher price. . 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 superior fleeces, but which required special care. , Since 2000, Loro Piana has awarded a cup for the world's finest bale of wool that produces just enough fabric for 50 tailor-made suits. Wool is a resource that can be acquired by shearing Ovis with Scissors.Wool grows back over time. This can be in any form such as raw wool, washed raw wool, roving or carded fiber and locks as well as yarn. Wool ignites at a higher temperature than cotton and some synthetic fibers. 1.  Protein substances are more vulnerable to chemical damage and unfavourable environmental conditions than the cellulose material forming the plant fibres. The importance of wool to the English economy can be seen in 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. Animal rights groups have noted issues with the production of wool, such as mulesing. Wool has a high specific thermal resistance, so it impedes heat transfer in general.  Woolly sheep were introduced into Europe from the Near East in the early part of the 4th millennium BC. 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. For example: Any wool finer than 25 microns can be used for garments, while coarser grades are used for outerwear or rugs. In north west England, special potash pits were constructed to produce potash used in the manufacture of a soft soap for scouring locally produced white wool. About 7% of Australian wool is sold by private treaty on farms or to local wool-handling facilities. Find more ways to say wool, along with related words, antonyms and example phrases at Thesaurus.com, the world's most trusted free thesaurus. ), a by-product employed in cosmetics and ointments. , Wool consists of protein together with a small percentage of lipids. The performance of wool has been improved by development of finishes imparting insect and mildew resistance, shrinkage control, improved fire resistance, and water repellency. A great deal of the value of woolen textiles was in the dyeing and finishing of the woven product. The suit was developed using Australian Merino wool, and it enables woven products made from wool, such as suits, trousers, and skirts, to be cleaned using a domestic shower at home.. Scouring may be as simple as a bath in warm water or as complicated as an industrial process using detergent and alkali in specialized equipment. Wool Felt. The oldest known European wool textile, ca. There are two categories of recycled wool (also called reclaimed or shoddy wool). WHY WOOL? Less than half of New Zealand's wool is sold at auction, while around 45% of farmers sell wool directly to private buyers and end-users. Wool from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa may enter, and a winner is named from each country. This natural crimp (wave) gives wool its elasticity (springiness). Camel hair: A luxurious and warm fine wool with a natural golden-brown color, camel hair is typically … The final wool textile, which we simply call “wool,” has been used for thousands of years to produce garments that keep us warm, including, of course, sweaters. So, we’ll look at these different meanings in this article. This method is preferred for small lots or mixed butts to make savings on reclassing and testing. , United States sheep producers market wool with private or cooperative wool warehouses, but wool pools are common in many states. The undercoat contains the softest of the hair shorn from the lamb. Cleaning the fleece removes “wool grease,” the fatty substance purified to make lanolin (q.v. The recycled wool may be mixed with raw wool, wool noil, or another fiber such as cotton to increase the average fiber length. Written contracts bound the artisans to specified terms. Openness. Unlike vegetable fibres, wool has a lower breaking strength when wet. Wool is 100% natural grown year-round by Australia’s 68 million sheep, consuming a simple blend of water, air, sunshine and grass. Organic wool is becoming more and more popular. Wool is the best fabric to keep you smelling good after a long hike or a hot day out in the sun, you can even wear a wool garment day after day without developing a serious stink. , Superwash wool (or washable wool) technology first appeared in the early 1970s to produce wool that has been specially treated so it is machine washable and may be tumble-dried. The way wool handles water and perspiration is so key, and so interesting, that we have a separate page, Wool … Wool increased friction in a vest with 28–30 layers of fabric, to provide the same level of bullet resistance as 36 layers of Kevlar alone.. In 1963, the first Ermenegildo Zegna Perpetual Trophy was presented in Tasmania for growers of "Superfine skirted Merino fleece". About 85% of wool sold in Australia is sold by open cry auction. The sheepwalks of Castile were controlled by the Mesta union of sheep owners. Wool is the hair of certain mammals.Most wool comes from sheep and goats, but wool is also taken from camels, llamas, and special rabbits. Wool offered with objective measurement test results is preferred. Fine wools are about 1.5 to 3 inches (4 to 7.5 centimetres) long; extremely coarse fibres may be as much as 14 inches in length. Wool's scaling and crimp make it easier to spin the fleece by helping the individual fibers attach to each other, so they stay together. While most people associate the word “wool” with sheep, there are, in fact, a variety of distinct types of wool that producers derive from animals other than sheep. Length is greatest for the coarsest fibres. The British Wool Marketing Board operates a central marketing system for UK fleece wool with the aim of achieving the best possible net returns for farmers. 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