• Wool Fiber Properties and Wool Quality Number

    Wool fiber: Like all other protein fibers, wool is also derived from the animal hair. Wool is mainly used as a minor blend (up to 10%) with cotton to introduce special properties to the terry fabric. Raw wool contains a wide variety of impurities, which can account for between 30% and 70% of the total mass. The impurities consist of wool grease, secreted from the sebaceous glands in the skin; suint, produced from the sweat gland; dirt and sand. Wool grease consists chiefly of esters, formed from a combination of sterols and aliphatic alcohols with fatty acids. Suints consist primarily of the potassium salts of organic acids. more »
  • Macro and Micro Structure of Wool Fiber

    The crimped configuration prevents wool fibers from aligning themselves too closely when being spun into yarn. As a result it is possible to have wool textile materials with air spaces. Occupying about two-third of the volume. The warmth of wool fabric is due more to the air spaces in the material then to fiber. more »
  • Relationship of Ortho-Cortex to the Crimp Wave in a Double-Crimped Wool

    The cortex of a crimped Merino wool fibre comprises two hemi-cylinders, which differ in both chemical and physical properties. The form of the crimp wave is related to alternations in the positions of the two cortical components within the fibre—the ortho- and the para-cortex1–4. The ortho-cortex tends to lie on the convex aspect of the crimp wave and the para-cortex on the concave aspect. more »
  • Alpaca – Leading the Way?

    Alpaca numbers in Australia are estimated to be between 170,000 and 450,000, with the higher estimate considerable in view that the sheep flock only numbers around 70 million. Wool ranging from 24 through to 26.8 micron is blended with alpaca. The combination of alpaca numbers and some relationship of the alpaca fibre to wool are behind this brief look into this ancient luxury fibre. more »
  • Fibre Metrology of Wool and its Applicability to Alpaca

    The measurements made on wool and the reasons for those measurements are examined. It is suggested that, if the alpaca fibre-processing industry is to move beyond being a cottage industry, it will have to adopt modern total quality management. It will also have to respond to customer demands for end-products at competitive prices and processor demands for repeatable quality. This will mean price will be determined by measured fibre properties and the key properties will almost certainly be diameter and whiteness (freedom from coloured fibre). more »