I have had a few questions about fiber yields and I thought I would look up and see what I could find. I found a great description from an Australian Company that actually tests commercial clips –
Yield is the weight of clean wool, after the removal of impurities, expressed as a percentage of the greasy wool weight. These impurities may be natural, such as grease and suint, or acquired, such as seeds and burrs along with sand, soil or other mineral matter. In addition, wool naturally absorbs moisture and this can vary from day to day depending on climatic conditions. Because it is used to estimate the quantity of usable wool fibre in a lot it is a significant factor in wool trading, although it does not, as such, affect the processing efficiency of the wool.
Producers can send in samples from their fleeces – with a good idea of what their yield is, they can market their fleeces better.
I was also curious about what the average is and was shocked to find that it is 45-60%. When sending your fleeces of for processing, you are paying on the incoming weight. So, you definitely want your yield to be as high as it can be. Of the fleeces I sent off, the lowest yield was from Holly and Isabel. I’m sure this is due to the high amount of lanolin that Holly has in her fleece. It is an uncommonly high amount for a Jacob. I look past it because she has a beautiful fleece (once it is washed) and she is one of my friendly girls 🙂
So, the better your skirt your fleeces, the better your yield should be.
Thanks Shannon. Very interesting. I would guess that Jacobs as a breed would have a higher yield because of their nature of having a lower lanolin level than most other sheep breeds. So I guess it would help to have them sheared in the summer
when there is less moisture in their fleece. In this climate you would add a lot of weight.
Shetlands are not known for greasy fleeces, either. Good thing, since with their small size their clip is not very large anyway!
I have noticed how little lanolin, or grease my Jacobs have. I have also noticed how much money I save in wool processing by skirting heavily, and washing before I take wool in for carding. In the past few years I have been processing ( washing & carding ) some of my better fleeces myself ! Now if I could only find a good deal on a big, commercial carder….thanks for the info, and I love to read about breed specific stuff on Jacob sheep !
There is a certain amount of waste per run, so you are getting a lower yield if you are processing just one fleece per run. I usually process all my own fleeces, but sent most out this year, separated into 3 to 5 lb batches by color and type. I was abit disappointed in the yield. If I do send any out next year, I’ll wash them first and send to a processor that charges by finished weight, rather than incoming weight.
Whats the best way to wash wool at home without damaging it? Any inputs?
Thanks, Shannon. That is good information to have!