Textile Encyclopedia

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Wool

Wool is a fine hair fiber from sheep. In labeling, the term “wool” also may be used to identify fibers from other fleece animals, such as the Angora goat, cashmere goat, camel, alpaca, llama, and vicuña. Sheep-wool fiber can be sheared from the living animal or pulled from the hide after slaughtering. Sheared or clipped wool is superior to pulled wool. Sheep normally are sheared only once a year. Lamb’s wool is wool from sheep under 8 months of age. “Virgin wool” (or “new wool”) comes from the first shearing of the animal and is most highly prized. The term “virgin wool” is also used to mean wool that has never previously been processed.