Commodities of daily usage such as wool, fibre, fleece and so on have been harvested from various wool giving animals, the most common among them being sheep, llamas, bison, yaks, camels, and even rabbits. Some fibres provided are rarer in comparison to the others and thus it is important to decide which one is the right species for farmers to cultivate in their backyards and farms.
Wool Giving Animals – Habitats and wool types
In order to understand better, a study of wool giving animals including their habitat and the kind of wool they yield is a mandate.
The Lohi sheep of Punjab and Rajasthan provide cultivators with wool of high quality and are principally used in making woollen clothes for the winter.
The Rampur Bushair sheep is usually found around the lands of Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. These sheep are known for giving a unique brown coloured wool that is used in making carpets
Nali sheep is another type of wool giving animals that can be traced in places such as Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana. This type of sheep also provides wool that is made into carpets which are exported.
The Bakharwal sheep that is usually found in parts of Jammu and Kashmir in India and the wool provided by this species of sheep is extensively incorporated in making woollen shawls for the winter season.
Another kind of sheep is the Drysdale sheep which is commonly found in New Zealand, however, the wool yielded by these sheep is coarse in texture and since they are thick as well, they are mostly used in order to make carpets.
Another wool giving animal is the Baluchi sheep and it is bred in parts of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. Their wool is brown in colour and texture wise coarse and thick. This kind of wool is also used in the process of making carpets.
The Angora goat, named after a place in Turkey called Angora gives one of the finest and high-quality wool which can either be white or coloured and this wool is known by the name of Mohair. The Mohair wool is usually used in carpet making processes in addition to being the primary material used in scarves, hats for winter, socks, coats as also sweaters.
The llama camel is originally found in the mountain regions of the Andes in South America. This is one wool giving animal whose wool is known for its lightweight, free from grease and soft texture. Such elements allow this wool to be counted among the luxurious types of wool used in making high-end clothing.
Originating in Peru and also some other parts of South America, the wool produced by the Alpaca camel is fine and qualifies to be of yarn superiority. Therefore, expensive shawls, fashionable stoles and intricate carpets are made using this wool.
Another wool giving animal is the yak which originates in the Ladakh mountain regions of Nepal as also Sikkim in India. They are sometimes found in other parts of the world as well. The yaks usually produce two kinds of wool within its body, the outer wool which is rough in texture and the inner wool which is soft. Depending on their texture, yak wool is incorporated in making blankets, socks, sweaters and hats for the winter season.
Wool Giving Animals – Importance of the right kind of rearing
It is important to recognize each wool giving animal’s potential to be reared for wool. While yaks and buffalos are sometimes given a miss owing to the wool produced by them being a certain texture, the fleece they produce can very well be put to use in making luxurious yarns. Farmers who raise wool giving animals on their farms should always bring only those animals who are befitted to their lifestyle and farming space.
Importance of the right skirting: a process of cultivating the wool
When the farms get larger, a professional shearer is generally put to work for the purpose of harvesting and cultivating of the wool from the wool giving animals. After the shearing has been done, more time and focus needs to be devoted to the wool sheared. The wool needs to undergo a process called skirting that removes traces of impurities from the wool so that it becomes fit for usage. In this process, a portion of wool collected from the legs, belly region and back of wool giving animals are removed to eliminate remnants of their ablutions from the wool. Special care should also be devoted to the fibre and wool mills that there are for the cultivation of the wool to happen for commercial or domestic purposes.
Also check out our article on Types of Agriculture in India here.