Farm Facts About Wool

Farm Facts: Sheep

Wool has been used by humans for thousands of years to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This naturally occurring fiber is durable, versatile and sustainable. Check out more facts about wool:

  • Texas is the top producer of wool in the United States, followed by California, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.
  • Sheep are usually shorn once a year in the spring to keep them cool and harvest their fleece.
  • In 2011, 4.1 million head of sheep and lambs were shorn, yielding 30 million pounds of unwashed wool, or 16 million pounds of clean wool.
  • There are 47 breeds of sheep in the United States. Fine wool breeds, long wool breeds, dual purpose breeds, hair breeds and minor breeds are types of sheep that can be used for their wool or hair.
  • Wool is flame-resistant. It will not melt and stick to your skin like synthetic fibers. Instead, wool will usually smolder and extinguish itself when the source of the flame has been removed.
  • Doll makers used to use wool from the Cotswold breed for dolls hair because of its beautiful ringlets.
  • Lanolin is a natural grease found in wool. It can be used in cosmetics, lotions and soaps.
  • Wool can be felted, knitted, spun, woven, crocheted and more. It can even be used to make insulation, carpet, pool table baize, tennis balls, mulch, and mattress filling.

sources: sheepusa.org, agmrc.org

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