3 Types of Sheep Leather Wool


*Mouton– Lambskin which is straightened with treatment, cut short and dyed to look like beaver, mink, leopard or more expensive furs.

*Shearling- Ram lamb (male immature) or ewe lamb hide and fleece

*Sheepskin or Lambskin- Ewe (adult female) or Ram (adult male) leather and wool fleece and hide

Sheep leather or wool is a very nuanced industry with many finer points determining the quality of final product.  Here are a few of those guidelines:

Micron Count

Diameter of wool with lower number being better.  A ‘micron’ is a micrometer or one millionth of a meter. You may be familiar with this term being used for thread count on sheets? 

Fascinating to me that this number ‘micron’ is used to describe pores in our bedding also is the term used when describing allergy count on our evening news.

Hair size can vary on livestock so a a mean number is taken of several samples of wool.  Most important of factors deciding value.

Seed Contamination

A factor when determining quality of final product is seed contamination.  When seeds or burrs get mixed in with animals hair or wool which can cause scar tissue on skin.  Areas of damaged pelt would be weaker or not there at all after processing. A five point grading system is used. Skin disease, louse and regrowth not considered for market.

Staple Number

Standard numbers used for length and strength of wool.  Staple numbers go into determining what manufacturing the textile can handle such a machine handling or spinning by hand for delicates. 

30 Newtons per kilotex is considered tender with over 40 being premium or usable in most markets for staple strength. 

Staple length is simply length of hair/wool from the ‘Haute’ high ‘hauter’ top with 55 staples out of an average being acceptable.

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