Fineness in Wool

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11 years 7 months ago #25472 by Heemskerck Station
Hi all,
It's great to read all the new into messages to learn where every one is at.

I am Bart. I have a wife and child #5 on the way the others are aged 7, 5, 3, 1.5. We moved to our block in May - unfortunately we can only rent it at this stage but are working hard to try and buy it in the future.

We are a great believers in self-sustainabilty and the value of wool. So needledd to say these are our main priorities. The wool part has already achieved great success just having shorn the sheep. Around 12kgs of prime Fine coloured wool.

While I am chatting anyway - does anyone have interest in swapping Polwarth Ram lambs? or does anyone want to buy one. Mine is 4mnths with good blood line - Family tree provided :D

All the best everyone
Bart
Heemskerck Station

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11 years 7 months ago #356506 by sod
Replied by sod on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi Bart where about are you for people who want to swap rams etc.

Having time is a measure of enthusiasm:rolleyes:

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11 years 7 months ago #356507 by igor
Replied by igor on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi Bart. Welcome aboard. Sounds like you have your farm workforce well organised. The trick now will be to get them to actually enjoy helping.

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11 years 7 months ago #356509 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi and welcome Bart.

I'm a registered coloured Polwarth breeder and a member of the Black and Coloured Sheepbreeders Association. It's fantastic to see another Polwarth breeder join LSB, especially one that has such an interest in this beautiful fleece. OK, I'm hugely biased but what can I say??? I just love the breed.

Couple of questions for you. Where are you based? Are you, or have you considered becoming a member of our Association? As a member you have access to both buying and selling your stock at the North and South Island sales and on the BCSBA website; entry into our flock book which will give you details of similar Polwarth breeders so you can trade with other members; access to baling days where you can sell your fleece as part of the BCSBA pool; a regular magazine and field days etc. Let me know if you want further details.

Sorry to jump on the bandwagon here, but coloured fleece is often greatly under-rated, particularly by those that don't have a ready outlet for it. So many people want sheep that shed their fleece or that don't require much work etc etc that it's exciting (for me) to have another fleece afficionado join us :-)

Cheers, Mich.
PS - it's great that you have the bloodlines of your rams - breeders are always really interested in those.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 7 months ago #356524 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi and wlecome to the LSB cyber family Bart :)
is it hard to sell coloured wool ? ... as i have a small mob of "pure bred Desigenr" sheep .. lol read: mongrels :) .. and have a couple of black ones and a couple with a grey tinge in their wool , as well as a few white ones :) .. shearring soon i hope, and think this year might try and sell wool :)
:) lots of great people on here Bart, and lots of knowledge :) .. hope you enjoy your time here :)

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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11 years 7 months ago #356530 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Fineness in Wool
Hiya Stu - depends. If you sell small lots to wool buyers then you would be pushed to make a return after shearing. Selling to crafts people/spinners is ideal but a lot of hard work goes into preparing the fleece before they will happily accept it.

For successful spinning the fleece needs to be sound (no breaks) to avoid pilling and breakage; free of vegetable matter and dirt, and of a suitable length. Not so hard when you just have one or two fleeces to work on but going through dozens can be quite a mammoth task. Not everyone has the time, patience, or love of fibre to do that.

I work on the basis that a craftsperson needs the most perfect raw material that they can get to start with, in order to add their talent and end up with a fantastic, long-wearing product. Coloured wool is so diverse and beautiful that I'm really surprised people are so dismissive. I mean, how many people do you know that go round only wearing white jumpers, hmmm? :p

Good luck with your shearing. Mine's this Saturday, and not a moment too soon I reckon! :D

Cheers, Mich.

PS - Oh, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with "designer" sheep - all wool can be used for one purpose or another and just because a sheep is of mixed or unknown parentage doesn't preclude it from being nice. [;)]

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 7 months ago #356548 by InItForTheLongRun
Replied by InItForTheLongRun on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi, I'd be interested to know in the coloured wool market what range of micron is considered fine? Cheers :)

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11 years 7 months ago #356559 by Stu_R
Replied by Stu_R on topic Fineness in Wool
:) Mich .. i am hope this weekend to for shearring ... kinda depends if the shearrer ( a Maori guy ) is back from the Tangy ( spelling) for one of his uncles ... :) at least the weather is looking ok for the weekend :)
Hope your shearring goes well ... as its getting hotter my wooly monsters will enjoy it after being shorn i think :)

:) will let ya know what the local wool place says about coloured wool ( and what they pay) after mine are done :)

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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11 years 7 months ago #356562 by the old ram
Replied by the old ram on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi Gang,on the colored wool thing,when our girls were teenagers and Jen was a keen hand spinner and knitter,they found that the naturally colored Corridale sheep were the "go",so I had to "breed them up a flock"................When it came to "selling" fleece,I found that "hand spinners" liked "fresh shorn" fleece,so we made contact with "local spinners" and told them they could "visit" the farm ,the sheep were mustered and put in a small pen.they picked out there sheep and I would shear it for them on the "spot".........sometimes they would come in "pairs" and pick two sheep and take two halves of different colors...............We also got some Morit Fine Wool Merino's,(great coffee color)but Jen said that it was difficult to spin ,because it was so "fine"(from memory it was about 18 mic)...............Hope the above is of some value............T.O.R.

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11 years 7 months ago #356565 by Heemskerck Station
Replied by Heemskerck Station on topic Fineness in Wool
Thanks for all the great feedback. I will definitely PM you Mich for more info.

We are in the Waikato, I established an interested customer base before we shore the sheep to ensure the fleece gets moved on quickly.

I have also found that there are handcrafters out there only interested in the "pure" wool for the natural qualities. So, to avoid having trying to satisfy everyone I simply state that it comes un-carded. I find that experienced and genuine handcrafters (Especially the spinners) don't mind.

Oh for the Waikato LSB's I highly recommend "The Lifestyle Block Bloke" for shearing. Especially if you want to sell it still - nice single cut the whole way round :)

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11 years 7 months ago #356633 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi IIFTLR - generally anything under 30 microns is considered 'fine'. Same applies to both white and coloured wool, but you can have variations in fineness within each breed and this can largely be determined by what you feed them. For instance, my Polwarths would be slightly less fine than those you might find in Central Otago as they have access to different feed. Often the better pasture they have, the less fine the wool. I also find that there is a distinct difference between my sheep and those I've sourced in the North Island, and the ones I brought up from Otago. A completely different feel, and the Otago ones have a 'crust' on the tips, whereas the NI ones don't.

TOR - love your approach to selling the wool "off the sheep's back" :D It can be a good marketing ploy if the buyer has a connection to the actual sheep. In regard to the difficulty spinning Merino, I've heard that (I'm a quilter, not a spinner), but have also heard that people find Polwarths much easier to spin than Merino.

Bart, I see you've PMd me - will go and read it now. :)
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 7 months ago #356658 by Heemskerck Station
Replied by Heemskerck Station on topic Fineness in Wool

igor;346828 wrote: Hi Bart. Welcome aboard. Sounds like you have your farm workforce well organised. The trick now will be to get them to actually enjoy helping.


Thanks Igor - it's quite a tribe here. Though I must say, since moving here I have never seen the kids so happy. They are really blossoming in this new atmosphere. We used to live in the city in designer housing and I can honestly say that is not a good situation for kids learning and growing.

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11 years 7 months ago #356781 by Mich
Replied by Mich on topic Fineness in Wool
Hi Bart - your PM and my reply yesterday have mysteriously disappeared from my PM folders - have sent you my email address - can you email yours to me?

Stu - I'd be really interested to hear what price you're offered for your fleece. Hope the weather holds for you mate and your shearer turns up :D

Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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11 years 7 months ago #356783 by terralee
Replied by terralee on topic Fineness in Wool

Mich;347118 wrote: Hi Bart - your PM and my reply yesterday have mysteriously disappeared from my PM folders - have sent you my email address - can you email yours to me?

Stu - I'd be really interested to hear what price you're offered for your fleece. Hope the weather holds for you mate and your shearer turns up :D

Cheers, Mich.

Hiya Mich :D :D we just took our wool to the wool buyers ...predominently white from my romneys but also some beautiful full coloured fleeces from my splodgies ...I was very disappointed with what we got and in hind sight (after talking to lady in saddlery shop:rolleyes: ..well they have lots of sheep[;)]) I think I should have queried the price we got:
....was $2.70 per kg for our lovely white wool :( good clean wool[:(!]
..........$2.35 per kg for our suffolk wool[:0] a nice suprise[^]
BUT.....$0.80 per kg for some absolutely stunning coloured fleeces[:(!] :(
really could not believe 80 blooming cents~![B)]

Might change where we go next time.
Cheers

P.S: I meant to say a big welcome to you and your increasing tribe too Bart:):):)

Leonie & Zoo!!! :silly: :woohoo:

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11 years 7 months ago #356788 by Heemskerck Station
Replied by Heemskerck Station on topic Fineness in Wool

terralee;347120 wrote: Hiya Mich :D :D we just took our wool to the wool buyers ...predominently white from my romneys but also some beautiful full coloured fleeces from my splodgies ...I was very disappointed with what we got and in hind sight (after talking to lady in saddlery shop:rolleyes: ..well they have lots of sheep[;)]) I think I should have queried the price we got:
....was $2.70 per kg for our lovely white wool :( good clean wool[:(!]
..........$2.35 per kg for our suffolk wool[:0] a nice suprise[^]
BUT.....$0.80 per kg for some absolutely stunning coloured fleeces[:(!] :(
really could not believe 80 blooming cents~![B)]

Might change where we go next time.
Cheers

P.S: I meant to say a big welcome to you and your increasing tribe too Bart:):):)


[:0]That's daylight robbery Terralee - sorry to say. I'm not a veteran in the wool industry but I do have contacts and customers willing to pay $10+ per kilo of coloured. I find a good and FAIR place to get the market value of wool is interest.co.nz > Rural > Sheep > Wool. My 5cents worth would say take a bit more time to sell privately. It could make a difference of 1250%.
Thank you very much for the welcome by the way :)

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