So they are sheared, then what do you do with the wool? No one seems to want it, but there are other uses for it, I actually process mine if they are any good by washing and combing until they are heavenly soft and sell to spinners
All profits I give to my charity, if you want to do this, I did write an article earlier on how to do this, but a further thing which wasn’t in that article was sheep ‘dandruff’….if you find any, don’t bother with that fleece, it’s hopeless, you can’t wash it out, it sticks to the hairs like glue. Forget it as whenever this condition occurred it’s usually not right at the bottom of the fibre, usually about 5-10 cm from the base of the fibre, so even if you cut it off you are left with possibly a short staple. You might find there are some parts free of dandruff, but it’s not worth all the looking for it.
|I don’t know what causes dandruff in sheep, this was from a shearling. You can clearly see the dandruff where I have turned up one edge of the piece of fleece (look at the edge of the dark bit and enlarge the photo till you see it). Such a shame as this fleece was ultra soft.
Not everyone wants to process a fleece, though the results are almost worth it, I have also skirted and have taken out all the vegetable matter and sold it unprocessed, but read on for some interesting facts on uses sheep wool.
In the garden, wool is very absorbent of water, it’s fibres bonds together trap water too. Due to it’s water-holding abilities, when put below the soil where plants are placed, the wool will absorb any runoff of water and trap it for the plant to take up due to the surface of the wool containing fatty acid proteins which do not absorb water, water is only absorbed by salt leakages in the wool fibres allowing this absorption, so a good candidate for lining hanging baskets and putting round fruit trees and putting into the bottom of large pots to act as a water reservoir.
Not only this, it doesn’t matter how dirty it is, but wool also makes an excellent compost. Wool is a biodegradable material, meaning it breaks down slowly. It also just so happens to be an excellent source of nitrogen, vital for good plant growth. Wool actually contains up to 17% nitrogen, which is significantly higher than the standard composts available.
It can also be used as mulch for around trees and shrubs, as not only is it porous, but it also helps keep plant roots cool.
I stuffed some short alpaca fibre into a washing bag, washed it and after drying, the cats love laying on its softness, then I just wash it in the bag again
I could go on but I’m leaving that to our members to write in with their ideas for more uses for fleeces.