Total Pageviews

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What would we do without Wool?

Wool has kept us warm since ancient times when man first domesticated sheep, and even in this age of synthetic fibers wool still remains a firm favourite with most of us. Britain, especially, has a lot sheep grazing on the hills of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and has a thriving wool industry.
Britain was very important when it came to wool-producing in the Middle Ages, and a sack of wool became a status symbol of wealth, hence the Lord Chancellor’s seat in the House of the Lords becoming known as the wool sack. All in all, the sheep population of the world is about 970,000,000!
When shorn, the sheep’s fleece is matted and oily and unfit for spinning, so the fleece must be washed and ‘carded’ before going on to the next process. Once spun, the wool goes on to be woven into the woollen clothes and rugs, carpets, etc., we are familiar with in the shops. In the middle Ages the Flemish were celebrated weavers; these days Bradford and Leeds are well known for their fine weaving.