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Wool comes from sheep, well, I think most of us know that. But what a journey it takes, from this adorable sheep to material ready for creation!
Soft yarn is the goal, and we go through many steps to get it there. Cleaning and Transformation. Many people still use the same process of preparation used for centuries.
At the end of the winter, the sheep farmer will cut off the sheep's fleece. A single fleece can weigh up to 8 kilograms. Most sheep farmers are highly skilled in this process, so the sheep are not harmed. Once finished, the sheep are left with a thin coat for these warm sunny months.
This next step is simple, but important. The washing removes dirt, natural oils and other elements. Some by-products of this process are re-used in the health industry. Lanolin, for example, is used for some vitamin D supplements.
Next, the wool must be straightened, as sheep wool is naturally curly. The wool is forced through fine metal teeth, which straightens them and makes them nice and soft. Some people still use a comb for this process, but most manufacturers use machinery.
Here the material is spun into useful material. The spinning wheel spins strands together and forms long, strong wool pieces. We call this yarn. This spinning process can be adapted to different material needs. Spin a thick yarn for knitting or a thin yarn for finer garments.
Yarn is sold directly to consumers who manufacture clothing. It is also sent to designers who need ready-made fabrics for all kinds of wool products.
Wool is easy to dye because it quickly absorbs water. Depending on the final product, you would dye it at different times during the production process. To dye, simply add the wool to boiling water and add the colour we want.
From sheep to clothing, the process is an ancient art form that will never die. The whole process can take a lot of time, but that is the appeal for many people. So much effort and energy goes into wool clothing that people end up loving their products for a long time.
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