The science of wool

Wool is the original smart fibre and you can often find superficial claims on the properties and benefits - some of which may not be true. 

In this section we hope to build out the most comprehensive repository of information on textile processing. This will give you an insight on how we create our products and the knowledge and skillset required. Over time I will try and capture all I know on wool processing. This will be from fleece to finished product. 

Starting with the sheep, we will look at the different fibre qualities available in the UK flock - from Cheviot, Swaledale and Masham to Herdwick, Jacobs and Bluefaced Leicester. The typical fibre qualities will be compared and how they impact on our final product will be discussed.

Medium quality sheep

The next step is scouring, which removes the natural lanolin grease, cleans the fibres and removes vegetable matter from the fleece. Scouring is a delicate process with careful control needed to prevent overfelting. 

This is a modern version of a scouring train in a wool factory, but it's the same general cleaning method. Web photo courtesy of

Wool scour line - only 2 left in the UK as I understand it. 

 Now we have clean wool, it is ready for opening and carding before going through the woollen spinning route or the worsted spinning route. Hopefully, we can look at the technology and science in this critical stage. 

As we go along, I will add more and more detail - hopefully this will prove to be a useful resource for people who want to learn more about wool.

Useful links
British Wool
IWTO Research
Wool scouring info