Monday, July 26, 2010

A couple neat websites

I found a couple neat websites. One is Mohair USA and under industry news it shows how much commercial mohair sells for. The prices range from $2.50 for defective mohair to $5.40 for kid. That is a lot more than commercial wool which can range from $0.25 for good Suffolk-$2.00 for good Merino. (Prices can be much lower for wool depending on the year.)

Talking about commercial wool part of the problem (with the low prices) is much of the wool is very dirty and the growers don't put an emphasis on keeping it clean. The buyers don't like that and give a low price. Now to make matters worse even if there is a shepherd who has beautifully clean wool it is usually not enough to make a bale and gets mixed with the much lower quality wool that comes in at the same time period and then the price is based on the low quality wool. Then the shepherd with the clean high quality wool thinks "what's the point of going to all the extra work of keeping the wool clean just to get a poor price." Then he doesn't bother with all the extra work of about keeping the wool clean so next year he too has low quality wool. One farmer actually lost money by sorting out his belly wool. The good wool was $0.25 a # at the time and belly was $0.10 a #. He sorted his wool for two years and then the third year he decided to leave the bellies in. He got $0.25 a # (for the wool with the bellies) so for two years he lost $0.15# on the belly wool. If he had 600# of belly then that would be $90.00!

Also found a really deep article on crimp by an Alpaca breeder This article describes crimp, compares the crimp of Alpaca to the crimp in Merino, and compares high crimp fine-wools to low-crimp fine wools and how they have different end results. The low-crimp fine wools have a better hand, but the high-crimp fine-wools were better for sweaters and other woolen products. A good read!

This website shows pictures of Merino-Mohair and Angora bunny - cow hair at the microscopic level.

The last one is a website by an Angora goat farm. I really like their doll hair page at the bottom there are some dolls with some of the mohair doll hair. Pretty neat!


  1. Thanks for the links! When I get more time I'll be back to read. Those dolls are great. I thought the first picture was a real child.

  2. Thanks for posting these links Laura. I really liked Mike Safley's article on crimp. I've read many of his articles over the years and they are all very informative. Jim Watts decades of studies on the SRS technology fits well into this.

    We in the Shetland world are so unique as we can get the "low crimping" (low meaning 8-10 cpi average vs the much higher crimp frequency of merinos) coupled with low SD's but still have good length. This is why Shetland wool has such a good handle.

  3. Yeah, my finest and softest Shetland was a black with no defined crimp. (He tested at 19 microns, but I sent him to market and never used him as he was under sized and I did not like his conformation.)