Tuesday, June 27, 2006

32,841 pounds of wool

The Maryland Wool Pool collected 32,841 pounds of wool on June 21. Here is a breakdown of the different kinds of wool that was received:

Data provided by Richard Barczewski, Wool Pool Manager.
About the grades
All grades utilized at the Maryland Wool Pool, except one, need to have a staple length of 3 inches or more. Fleeces with a staple length shorter than the 3 inch minimum will always be placed in the short grade. Choice whiteface wool is wool that comes off of Merino, Rambouillet, and crosses of these breeds of sheep. Medium whiteface wool is the wool that comes off of Dorset, Texel, Cheviots, and their crosses. Coarse whiteface wool comes off of Romney, Leicester, Cotswold, and Lincoln breeds and their crosses. The other whiteface breeds tend to be more variable in their wool type. For example, some Columbia, Corriedale, and Polypay fleeces will grade choice, while other fleeces will grade medium. 

Non whiteface wool comes from breeds of sheep that have color in the hair on their faces and/or legs: Suffolk, Hampshire, Shropshire, Southdown, Oxford, Tunis, and their crosses. Speckled face sheep are also included in this grade because they have a high number of black fibers in their fleeces. The short grade is a catch-all grade for the Maryland Wool Pool. Wool less than the 3 inch minimum for the other grades falls into this category. In addition, old wool and any wools that are high in vegetable matter contamination or dirt are placed into this category. Black or gray wool is not accepted at the pool, nor are the fleeces from hair sheep and hair sheep crosses.

Contact Susan Schoenian for a copy of the brochure "Grading and Preparing Your Wool for Market," written by Dr. Rich Barzcewski and funded by an ASI Wool Outreach Grant.

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