At the Bear Creek Ranch we raise Romney Sheep, a breed which grows a long thick fleece.
Wool has several differences from hair or fur, one of which is that it has many many tiny crimps all along the length of each fiber. These crimps are what helps the wool grab onto itself during spinning, to make a yarn or thread! Also, these little crimps leave plenty of room among the fiber for air to be held, aiding in insulation against both heat and cold.
Wool is often used as a garment fabric for firefighters and soldiers, and as carpet fiber in areas which require extra safety precautions. It ignites at a much higher temperature than cotton or many synthetic textiles, and actually produces a char when lit that helps extinguish itself.
Wool can absorb up to 1/3 it’s weight in water, and when a small amount of naturally present lanolin is left on the fibers, wool can provide it’s own water resistance. This makes for excellent mittens and sweaters, as any moisture present will be absorbed and held inside the fibers while the outside remains dry and water repellent.
This water content also gives wool a resistance to static electricity, this is why your wool sweater does not cling to you unlike many other garments.
Wool is an amazing fiber, and has many many more uses and applications both commercially and for individuals.
Romney wool is a great fiber for someone who is new to working with wool. It spins wonderfully, and is a dream to felt. Please check out the store and try working with this wonderful fiber.