Wool is one of the most naturally inspiring fibres on the planet and undergoes a unique journey from the sheep’s back to the world of fashion. Using age-old techniques mixed with modern technologies, wool fibres are transformed into luxuriously soft fabrics and yarns, used by the world’s best fashion designers.
The Woolmark Company remains at the forefront of developing and commercialising new manufacturing technologies for wool. We work closely with manufacturers involved at all stages of the wool manufacturing pipeline, developing new processes and creating new product opportunities that are both innovative and aimed at adding value to create new commercial opportunities.
Wool, by nature a circular fibre, can help brands enter more easily into the development of circular products.
Circular design in the textile industry uses regenerative materials, keeps garments in use and provides pathways for reuse, recycling and biodegradation at end-of-life.
1. Greasy Wool
Greasy wool is the raw fibre harvested from sheep during shearing, before it is cleaned during the scouring process. Greasy wool is sometimes called 'raw' wool.
2. Scoured Wool
Sourced wool is the term given to greasy wool that has been washed to remove contaminants, such as dirt, dust, sweat (suint) and wool grease. The wool grease is recovered and from it lanolin is extracted and used in products, such as cosmetics.
3. Carbonised Wool
Carbonised wool has undergone an additional cleaning process (carbonising) to remove vegetable matter, such as seeds, burrs and grass. Carbonising is only used in the woollen processing system, not the worsted processing system.
4. Wool Top
In the worsted processing system, three steps - carding, gilling and combing - turn the scoured wool into a 'top' or combed sliver. This collection of aligned fibres, without twist, is now ready for spinning into yarn.
Learn more about wool processing at woolmark.com