· Wool is one of the oldest fibres used for protection from cold climate.
· In Tamil wool is called as KAMBULI. The hair of sheep (Figure 2.10), camel and rabbit are also used as wool fibres. They were woven as garments and used. Even during early days, woolen clothes were worn by the people.
· The quality of wool depends upon the type of animal, its health, food and climatic conditions and place of breeding.
Principle Origin : Natural
Generic Name : Animal Hair
Chemical Type : Protein
Common Name : Wool
The best wool (Figure 2.11) can be obtained from animals which are free from diseases and chemicals and fed with nutritional diet. Wool can be taken from sheep’s by two methods- namely wool shearing from live animals or pulled off from the skin of dead animals.
The wool obtained by shear-ing is called fleece or clipped wool. The wool obtained from dead animals is called pulled wool. Sometimes, chemicals are added in the food of animals which result in the loss of hair. This is wool is weak when compared to mechanically sheared wool. The pulled wool and sheared wool can be mixed for yarn formation.
Wool fleece is classified based on the quality. It is graded based on the parts of animal from which it is sheared.
Best quality wool used for clothing-sheared from shoulder and sides.
Lesser quality wool used for rug making- sheared from lower legs.
The sheared wool has some natural oil present in them. This collected wool is known as grease wool. It is packed in bales then washed and sorted again. The recy-cled wool fibre is obtained by separately reducing the unused and used material to a fibrous mass by picking and shred-ding process called garneting. Further to remove the oil content, the fibres are washed in dilute acids, which is known as carbonizing. The resultant wool is called extract. Further the wool is washed with alkaline solution known as scouring. The washed wool is dried. Care is taken to leave 12 to 16% of moisture in the wool. The scoured wool is fluffy therefore it is treated with vegetable oil which helps in making the softness of wool suitable for spinning. The wool is further dyed and blended if required.
Shape : Fibre contain scales
Length : 3.75
Elongation : Good
Fibre luster : Medium
Elasticity : More
Stretchability : More
Flexibility : More
Density : 1.30 – 1.32 g/cm3
Reaction with acid : Not affected
Reaction with alkalies : Most of alkalies destroy the fibre
Absorbency : Good
Reaction to sunlight : More heat affects the fibre.
Flame : Burns slowly in direct flame, but self extinguishing.
Insects : Damaged by moths and carpet beetles
Drying : Prolonged drying
Dyeing : Absorbs acid and basic dyes readily.
Clothing (Winter Clothes – Muffler, Sweaters, Caps)
Household textiles (Blankets, Rugs, Carpets)
Industrial Textiles (insulation material used to keep the object warm)