From Sheep to Shawl  - Wool Processing

    Shearing Time!

   Here is a video of New Zealand style sheep shearing. In this video, hand shears are being used. New Zealand style shearing is vary fast and a good shearers can shear hundreds of sheep in a day.

   Most wool sheep are sheared once a year, but some breeds are sheared more often. Sheep are sheared with electric shears or hand (blade) shears.
 We shear our sheep with blade shears once a year in March through April.

A photo of one of our sheep before she was sheared            This is Fern one of our Clun Forest cross wool sheep, before she was sheared. In the photo she is 1 year old.
A photo of Fern after she was sheared.  This is Fern after she was sheared, this was her first time to be sheared.
After her wool was washed it weighed 3.4 pounds, which is a large fleece for a lamb. Fern has very nice, soft, white wool.
Photo of our picker.    After the wool has been sheared from the sheep it will be washed. We wash the wool with natural, gentle, wool wash, so the wool stays nice and soft. After the wool is washed and has dried, we will pick it with our picker. The picker fluffs the wool and also removes any grass.  
Photo of our carder.   If the wool is of spinning quality, we will carded the wool with a drum carder to make bats for spinning, otherwise it will be used for stuffing in pillows, cushions, pin cushions and soft balls.
Photo of our spinning wheel.  Next the bats will be spun in to yarn. We hand spin the bats on our spinning wheel and then ply the one ply yarn to make a two ply yarn. We hand spin all of are yarn. 
   We usually weave the yarn in to shawls and blankets or crochet it in to hats.
Photo of our triangular loom.   This is our triangular loom that we weave our shawls on. We also make cushion covers, blankets and hoods for our hooded shawls with it.