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Monday, May 29, 2017

Sheep Wool Grades

Sheep’s Wool Grades are important to consumers as well as the fashion industry.  The more you know about the various options of wool the better.  We all know many of the benefits of wool, but we should also have a general understanding of the various grades of wool.
Wool Grades
Wool grades are selected by clothing designers to suit the needs of the products being developed. For example, a high-end luxury wool scarf for a super model may require a different grade of wool than a thick & heavy pea coat for a fisherman.  Different wool grades offer different fiber lengths, fiber thicknesses and other properties.  The type of wool used for a garment or fashion accessory is decided based on different criteria.

Worsted Wool has been manufactured in Worstead, England since the eighteenth century. Wool fibers are spun into compact, smoothly twisted yarn before weaving or knitting. The wool then goes through a second combing process which removes unwanted short fibers. Because the remaining long-staple fibers lay flat and parallel, worsted wool is a popular choice for suiting and dress trousers. It also resists wrinkles and creases.

Virgin Wool has two definitions. First, it is the wool taken from a lamb's first shearing, which is the softest and finest sheep’s wool available. Second, virgin wool can refer to wool that has never been used, processed or woven before. This type of virgin wool can come from an adult sheep.

Boiled Wool is created by putting sheep’s wool through a special washing process that creates a dense, durable and water-resistant fabric with a texture similar to thick felt. Boiled wool has the suppleness of a knit with the shape retention of a woven fabric. Boiled wool is frequently used to make slippers, hats, gloves, scarves and a variety of outerwear.

Tropical Weight Wool is a two-ply, plain-woven, worsted wool that sturdy, lightweight, airy and breathable. Tropical wool (sometimes referenced as summer weight wool) is used to make warm-weather suits and other garments that can be worn in warmer weather.

Shearling is lambskin or sheepskin that has been tanned with the wool still adhered to the hide. Shearling is luxuriously soft, supple and warm, which makes it a popular choice for crafting slippers and sheepskin boots.

'Super' Wools are classified by the count or the fineness of the yarn used to make a particular cloth. The finer the count (measured in microns), the more fibers are used per square inch of cloth. The higher the number, the finer and softer the cloth will be. 'Super' wools are put into the following categories: Super 100's, Super 110's, Super 120's and Super 150's. For example, Super 100's wool must contain fibers that are finer than 18 microns.  Super 150's wool must contain fibers that are finer than 15 microns.  Super 150's wool is actually finer than cashmere.

Woolen is the name of a   yarn and   cloth usually made from   wool.

Flannel, wool fleece, gabardine and tweed are other popular fabrics that are frequently made from sheep's wool or a blend containing wool.  You may also want to learn about wool classing and about the different breeds of sheep.  You can find information about fine wool breeds, long wool bread, dual purpose breeds, hair breeds, and minor breeds.  Visit our wool research page for access to additional resources to help you learn more about this subject.

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