Cold winter, warm wool
Wool is one of the oldest raw materials, used already 4000 years B.C., thanks to its beneficial properties and because it is suitable for different uses. How many sweaters, hats, and scarves do we all have in our wardrobes? Plain-coloured or multi-coloured, softer or heavier; they can also be handmade with knitting needles; perhaps we shared them with our brothers and sisters. We used, and reused them, till they are faded, but still remain our favourite ones.
The fiber of the past, that will always continue to be there.
Wool will always be there, because it comes from the sheep, and therefore it is NATURAL; it is also RENEWABLE, as once the fleece is cut, the hair of the sheep grows again until the next cut; as it is natural and renewable, it doesn’t have negative environmental impact neither for its production, nor for its decomposition: wool is a totally SUSTAINABLE product!
It’s difficult to think about the wool as a waste.
Nevertheless, every year in Italy 8.700 tons of wool end up in landfill, buried or burned. It’s about low quality fiber, when compared to those coming from abroad: greasy wool, coming from the fleece of 7 million of Italian sheep. From this wasted wool it would be possible to obtain more than 5.000 tons of fiber, with a yield of about 15 million square meters fabric, with the possibility to create a sustainable and circular supply chain. Someone has already started a recovery process, generating a social value and a distinct advantage for the local farmers, as from the sale of the wool they can recover the costs of the sheep shearing, and they can avoid the expensive special waste disposal costs.
How many types of wool do we know?
Nowadays, despite the introduction of new synthetic fibres, the production of this kind of yarn is still standing. But there are different kinds of wool, with characteristics that change depending on the animal from which the fleece comes.
• Merino: a very fine wool obtained from sheep grown in extreme climatic conditions, and therefore with high thermal insulation properties.
• Mohair: a soft and light wool that guarantees a durable and uniform dye.
• Cashmere: a high-quality wool, even more fine than Mohair, obtained from the undercoat of the cashmere goats farmed on the Asiatic highlands, it has a thermal insulation property ten times higher than a normal wool.
• Alpaca, Llama and Vicuna: very light wools, with a touch like the silk; thanks to their hypoallergenic characteristics, and because of the absence of lanolin, they don’t cause allergic reactions.
• Camel: this fiber is obtained by brushing young Chinese camels. Because of its fineness and softness, it has an excellent thermal insulation. Its remarkable hygroscopicity, better than the one of the sheep wool, ensures a dry and pleasant microclimate.
Flocks and tops under control of the residual moisture
ETV offers tools to control the residual moisture even for the wool industry. The measurements can be taken with our “Hygrofaster-e”, or in-line with our TOPSMATIC.
Installed at the exit of the dryer after washing the wool, the TOPSMATIC measures the residual moisture of the flocks or of the tops; the recorder values allow to adjust the speed of the machine.