Wool classing

From Academic Kids

Wool Classing is a profession designed for the sole purpose of grading the spinning capacity or designated purpose for the wool produced. This is carried out by examining the characteristics of the wool in its raw state. The characteristics which a wool classer may examine are:

Wool crimp - The quantity of crimps within a staple (tuft) indicates spinning capacity of the wool. The finer the crimp, the finer the fibres, therefore the more valuable the wool becomes. Fine fibres may be utilised in the production of fine garments such as men's suits whereas the coarser fibres may be used for the production of carpet and other sturdy products.

Wool Strength (also known as tensile strength) determines wool's ability to withstand vigorous cleaning and manufacturing. The weaker wools are generally sent for production of felt etc where the processing is not as extensive and harsh.

Wool colour - Indicates whether wool is able to be dyed in light shades. Colour may be graded depending upon the natural colour, impurities and various stains present. Severely stained wool decreases prices dramatically.

The parts of wool taken from a sheep are graded separately. The fleece forming the bulk of the yield is placed with other fleece wool as the main line, other pieces suchs as the neck, belly and skirtings (inferior wool from edges) are placed together and sold for such purposes where the shorter less inferior wools are required. (for example fillings, carpets, insulation) The Crimp determines which grade the fleece will be placed into. This process enables primary producers to place wool into bales to send for sale, thus maximising returns by selling wool according to quality and weight.

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