The Wool Pool

by Paradise Staff January 28, 2014

Ever wonder where the fleeces of sheep raised for meat go? Into the wool pool! Don’t imagine a pool of wool but rather bales of wool compressed into 400 lbs per bag! For Washington State the lovely home of the Paradise Family, Pendleton Woolen Mills buys the bulk of fiber collected for the wool pool.

How does a pool work? Smaller farmers collect together to be able to sell in a pool, it works like any basic co-op. Most meat sheep need to be sheared at least once a year, these fleeces are then bagged and saved for the pool, where they are then graded, weighed and packaged.

Grading is done by either government graders or by semi-local agricultural educators. The wool sold to the pool is generally stuffed in large garbage bags and either emptied before the pool or taken to the pool in bag. Once there the fleeces are either removed from bag or 3 random holes are poked into the bag so samples can be graded. The fiber is judged by length, diameter, crimp, cleanliness, color and strength.

Then they are weighed by grade, and the contributions of each farm is recorded. All graded and separated wool is then deposited so that a total weight of all grades is recorded.

Finally the wool is baled with 50-60 similar fleeces per bale, a packed wool bale can weigh over 400 pounds.

The bales are then loaded by fork lift semi-trucks and taken to the mill that bids the highest on the entire lot. Sold to mills, the pool manager then pays by the poundage that was submitted by each farm.

The average price paid for wool sold in 2012 was $1.53 per pound for a total value of 43.6 million dollars.

1930 Wool Pool courtesy Special collections NCSU Libraries

 



Paradise Staff
Paradise Staff

Author


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Paradise Fibers Blog

The Next Big Thing in Hand Dyed Roving and Yarn!

by Bobby September 22, 2018

This September in our Fiber of the Month Club, we took our members back to Fiber Art school with 5 unique spinning fibers, a never before seen highlighter dyeing tutorial, a lesson on creating classic tweed yarn, and an introduction to a time-tested technique to get the most yardage out of your wool when hand spinning! Have […]

Continue Reading

How to Make Tweed Yarn in 10 Easy Steps!

by Bobby September 22, 2018

This September in our Fiber of the Month Club, we took our members back to Fiber Art school with 5 unique spinning fibers, a never before seen highlighter dyeing tutorial, a lesson on creating classic tweed yarn, and an introduction to a time-tested technique to get the most yardage out of your wool when hand spinning! Have […]

Continue Reading

How to Spin a Funfetti Birthday Cake Inspired Yarn. August 2018 Fiber Club Unboxing and Tutorial

by Bobby August 16, 2018

Happy birthday to our Fiber of the Month Club! It’s been five years of mystery fiber goodness! So today, we are going to explore special birthdays from different cultures! From the Latin American quinceañera to the Japanese kanreki, all over the world humanity celebrates landmark birthdays, and here we are to celebrate ours with you! […]

Continue Reading