We all know that wool comes from sheep but how many of us understand the process that turns this wool into wearable clothing? Here is the journey of wool:
Sheep are sheared every year at the end of winter. It wouldn’t be fair to do this before the cold weather set in! They use a tool a bit like an electric razor. The coat should be removed in one go and a fleece can weigh up to 8kg or more. The wool gathered from shearing is then sorted and made ready for cleaning.
The wool is washed to remove any debris and dirt. Some of the oil is removed from the wool and by-products come from them, such as lanolin which is used in a lot of beauty products as a moisturise.
The fibres then need to be carded and this process involves pulling the fibres through very fine teeth made of metal. As the wool is curly, this process straightens the fibres. After carding, the wool fibres are laid out in neat straight lines. For a range of Aran Sweaters, visit a site like Aran Sweaters @ Shamrockgift.
The next step involves spinning the fibres to form a yarn. A wheel is used to combine between 2 to 5 strands together which becomes yarn. A process called worsted spinning makes a thinner yarn suitable for use in sewing whilst woollen spinning creates a thicker yarn that is more suited to knitting.
This yarn can be sold directly to customers for knitting or pulled together into shapes to be sold directly to clothes makers who will shape it into garments.