Types Of Wool

There are many different types of wool. It's true, of course, there are lots of breed of sheep, but not all of them bear wool that is lovely and soft.

There are several ways of describing various characteristics of wool fibers. Some commonly used terms are...

  • staple length - length of fiber when sheared from sheep
  • diameter - fineness or thickness of fiber measured in microns
  • hand- how the fiber feels, eg. soft, harsh, springy
  • crimp - waviness along the length of the fiber
  • luster - how the fibers look, eg. shiny, dull
  • color - ranges from white through tans and browns, also silver through greys to black

Wool from different breeds of sheep is also categorized in other ways. They are usually roughly divided by the length of their fiber...

  • fine, short
  • cross-bred and medium
  • shortwool and down
  • longwool and luster
  • coarsewool and mountain breeds

The finer breeds bear wool that is usually used for bulkier, loftier yarn or yarns used for knitting and crochet. The longwool and luster breeds fiber is used primarily for worsted yarns to be woven into finer fabrics. And the coarsewool and mountain breeds wool is usually used for carpets and other hardwearing fabrics.

Some wools felt better than others - finer, short to medium fibers tend to felt quicker and better than the longer fibers.

Some types of wool you'll learn about here are...

Keep a look out for more information about the wools available and their uses.

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