Why are sheep so important? How is sheep's wool sheared, and what is it used for?
Did you know that there are over 1 billion sheep in the world,
with over 900 breeds worldwide, and 40 breeds in the U.S.?
Sheep were first domesticated over 10,000 years ago in Mesopotamia,
and sheep's wool has been spun into yarn for at least 5,000 years. In fact,
raising sheep may be the world's oldest organized industry, and sheep's wool
was once the driving force in medieval England's economy!
An average sheep will produce about 8 pounds of wool in a year, and sheep's wool has
many uses. Wool is a natural insulator, and is both water and flame resistant, making it
an extremely useful and valuable fiber! In addition to sweaters, shirts, socks, hats, and other clothes,
wool is also used for home products such as carpeting and upholstery, and some types of insulation.
A sheep's fleece also contains an oil called Lanolin, which is used in skin creams,
cosmetics, medical ointments, and even as a lubricant and anti-corrosive in industrial
Check out the videos below to learn about how sheep's wool is sheared and processed.