One sheep - several categories of wool

All wool from a sheep is useful, however it is not all useful for manufacturing the same products.

This page is designed to assist brands understand what each sheep provides when shorn.

A graphic describing all the different elements of the wool from one sheep.

The above image graphically shows a fleece which has a high vegetable matter (vm)  content evenly spread across all points of the sheep.

This image highlights a different situation where the vm is confined to the edges of the fleece.


Fleece wool - wool from the body of a sheep. Fleece wool should be approximately 80% of the total wool shorn from one sheep

Skirtings - taken from the edges of a fleece. Designed to remove the main areas where vegetable matter will accumulate.

Bellies - shorn from the belly area. Usuall matted and with a higher content of vegetable matter, dust, and urine stain in the case of wether sheep.

Crutchings - shorn from the chutch area. High risk of urine stain (ewes) and faeces stain (dags).

Top knots or wigs - shorn from the head. Usually higher vm content. (If wool is not shorn from the head, sheep can become 'wool blind')

Locks - very short wool