Every week I am going to take a few terms and tell you what they mean. If you are just entering into this, some of these you may have never heard of.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Shear – this refers to the cutting of the wool off the sheep. This is done in many different ways, usually by a process close to shaving.
Skirt – This does not involve dressing up your sheep in silly costumes. This refers to the process of removing certain parts of the fleece. Usually these parts are extra dirty and some may have “tags” on it. Please don’t ask me what those are, just accept that you don’t want them. These are usually found on the rear of the sheep, if that gives you any clue what they are. Also, keep in mind that a lot of the sheep roam semi wild, so the back and outer portions may also need to be removed to get the best fleece you can get.
VM – this stands for vegetable matter. This is the hay, grass, tags, and other materials that you may find in the fleece, usually too much to get rid of by simple carding.
Carding – a process using special equipment that aligns the fibers in one direction and removes tangles.
This is just the start of this particular portion of our site. Eventually, we hope to have a complete dictionary, but I will continue to define these terms, a few at a time. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us!