Wool terminology

Term Definition
Raw wool: wool from the sheep’s back, still containing dirt and grease.
Grading: assessing, by eye and touch, a fleece’s type and quality.
Micron: measure of wool fibre diameter. 1 micron is 0.001mm. The lower the micron figure, the finer the quality.
Staple length: the length of the fleece fibres.
Scouring: washing the wool to remove grease and dirt.
Carding: turning clean wool from staple to sliver form and separating the fibres.
Combing: straightening long fibres and removing shorter ones.
Tops: long fibred wool that has been combed by machine.
Noil: short fibre removed during combing.
Spinning: pulling out the fibres and adding twist to make a continuous, strong thread.
Rosemary Champion

About Rosemary Champion

Rosemary lives on a 12 acre smallholding in Angus, in the east of Scotland, where she keeps Ryeland Sheep, Shetland cattle and assorted poultry. She was destined to be a smallholder from an early age.

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