Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did You Know

What do you know about the yarn you are using? I love the feel of Merino wool, it's so soft and knits up so well. I does feel good on my feet. So I thought I would research and spend some time on From Sheep to My Foot. What I didn't realize was how much there was so it will take sometime to go through all that I have learned. I wish I could work with the wool to yarn to learn first hand what it is to make yarn. So here goes.Merino
The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world prized for its wool. Superfine Merino's are regarded as having the finest and softest wool of any sheep. That is why we love it on our feet, for its softness.
Merino wool is finely crimped an soft. Staples (pieces) are commonly 2.5 - 4 inches long. A good quality Peppin Merino ram produces up to 18kg. Basic Merino types include: strong(broad) wool 23 - 24 micrometre, (a micrometre, to express the diameter of a wool fiber, the lower microns are the finer the fibers. Fiber diameter is the most important characteristic of wool is deterring its greasy value.) Medium wool is 19.6 - 22.9 micron, fine 18.6 - 19.5 micron, superfine 15 - 18.5 micron, ultra fine 11.5 - 15 micron. Ultra fine wool is suitable for blending with other exclusive fibers such as silk and cashmere.

The term Merino is widely used in the textile industry. But in the dress goods and knitting trades the term "Merino" still implies an article made from the very best soft wool.
In Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the western United States where sheep are bred for their wool rather than their mutton, Merino sheep dominate. Australia produces about 80% of the world's Merino wool. Merino is an excellent forager and very adaptable. It is bred predominantly for its wool, and its carcase size is generally smaller than that of sheep bred for meat.
Well that a little bit on the merino sheep. Now I have to go back to reasearch To learn about sheering. Till next time.

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