From Sheep to Wool – Step by Step Process for Wool Production
The different processes involved in wool production are shearing, scouring, grading, dyeing, and drying.
The process of removal of the fleece from an animal is called shearing.
Sheep are usually shorn annually in the spring/summer months.
Shearing is done with a manual razor and blade, or with special clippers. Just as a haircut does not hurt us, shearing does not hurt the sheep—it actually helps them by removing the heavy woollen coat that they do not require in summer.
The sheared hair is washed properly to remove dirt, dust, and grease. The process of removing dirt, dust, and grease from the sheared hair is called scouring. It is done with the help of machines.
In this process, the wool is sorted on the basis of length, colour, texture, and the ease with which it can be dyed (coloured).
As the natural colour of fleece is white, brown, or black, the sheared wool is dyed in different colours.
In this process, containers of wool are put through rollers to squeeze out as much water as possible. Then the wool is weighed and packed into bales. The bales are transported to the mills where they are processed further. Figure 3.8 explains how the fleece is woven into yarn.