How to Sort Your Fleece, Wool Preparation After Shearingby Farm Shearing World Store
This guide will cover preparation of your fleece after shearing for hobby farmers and small rural graziers.
This most important aspect of preparing your fleece is to remove all dags and stains from around the tail of both male and female animals.
If the dags or stains get into your main fleece the buyers will cut the price given to you for your fleece.
However, stains and dags also means that when the fleece goes to be processed, the stained fleece does not dye to the same consistency as the white fleece.
This incurs a cost to the manufacturer, which in turn puts up the prices of the end garments for retail.
To make your fleece preparation easier, you need to crutch your animals prior to shearing.
This has a two-fold benefit: Firstly, crutching eliminates fly strike in the breach area on sheep; and secondly, it eliminates all stained (inferior wool) from the tail area of the animals.
It is vitally important to remove all black fleece from white sheep's wool if the fleece is predominately white. As previously explained, the black fibres will not dye out the same as white wool and causes costly manufacturing procedures.
If you have predominately black wool, you should put all the wool together and not worry about trying to separate all the white wool stapes from the black. This type of wool staple will then be treated differently in the manufacturing process.
If you have several different breeds of sheep i.e. Merino, Crossbreds or British breeds, all these fleece types should be kept seperate. Your wool broker should be able to supply you with several wool packs to help with this.
You should prepare a clean place to shear your animals. Fleece wool tends to pick up dust, grass clipping, hay and straw easily. If this is found in your fleece, it will incur a price penalty.
Keep all belly wool separate and put all your fleece wool into a wool pack as provided by your wool broker.
When selling Alpaca and Goat fleeces, get in touch with your local association who will be able to direct you to the nearest depot for your fleece to be pooled and sorted at a designated sorting shed.
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