Bri­tish Wool is Hot Stuff

If you are strug­gling to know what to do with your sheeps’ fleeces, chances are Bri­tish Wool can help. Kim Stod­dart re­ports

Country Smallholding - - Contents -

Fleece so­lu­tions

If you keep even a small num­ber of sheep, then think­ing about what to do with the fleece is an ongoing con­sid­er­a­tion for most of us. From how to find some­one to sheer your flock ear­lier in the year, en­sur­ing the qual­ity of the re­sult­ing fleece, pre­sent­ing it so that it looks good be­fore find­ing a way to sell it on – there is an aw­ful lot to think about, es­pe­cially if you are rel­a­tively new to sheep.

Thank­fully, help is at hand in the form of Bri­tish Wool, the last re­main­ing com­mod­ity board in the UK. The or­gan­i­sa­tion pro­vides a vi­tal ser­vice, work­ing on be­half of its 40,000 small­hold­ers and farm­ers, help­ing them to max­imise the value of and mar­ket for their wool. Based in Brad­ford, Bri­tish Wool col­lects, sells and pro­motes wool to the in­ter­na­tional tex­tile in­dus­try for use mainly in fur­nish­ings, ap­parel and floor­ing. So it knows a thing or two about wool and the shear­ing, and care and pre­sen­ta­tion of the fleece to max­imise its value at mar­ket.

It also runs a range of cour­ses through­out the year which are worth a look. Maybe you would like to save some money by learn­ing how to cor­rectly shear your flock for your­self. Or, if you like the idea of earn­ing an in­come as a free­lance sheepshearer on the side, then Bri­tish Wool’s tra­di­tional blade and shear­ing cour­ses have been de­signed to pro­mote and main­tain high qual­ity in this es­sen­tial ru­ral skill.

The bet­ter the fleece’s qual­ity, the higher the grad­ing and sub­se­quent price you will achieve as a re­sult. There­fore al­though dif­fer­ent breeds of sheep will turn out dif­fer­ently, how you re­move, store and pack­age the fleece af­ter it has been re­moved is ab­so­lutely key.

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