Destroying vegetable matter lodged in wool using harsh acid; leaving the wool dried and unnaturally crimped. This method is used with New Zealand wool, as it tends to contain more veggie matter (5%VM).
Bathing sheep in chemicals to ward off pests and insects.
Different chemical solutions can be applied to whiten wool during and after scouring.
Careless Shearing :
Shearers are often paid per sheep, encouraging the average shearer to hurry. This leads to small wounds on the sheep that can easily become infected.
Crowding too many sheep onto land destroys vegetation and leads to erosion. If a field becomes barren, the grower must bring in dry feed that can add additional veggie-matter to the fleece..
WOOLGATHERER CARDING MILL
The Guiding Criteria For Shasta Eco Wool :
Our batting is made from a blend of wool from different sheep breeds selected by Woolgatherer Carding Mill. Woolgatherer staff visit each woolgrower to assure that our fleeces come from healthy sheep raised on sustainably managed lands. Collaborating woolgrowers are paid a premium for the best fleeces from their flocks. The fleeces are then cleaned and carded on a full wool card line, which produces the finest known woolen batting available.
Proper Grazing Methods : Adequate field rotation to decrease soil erosion and to reduce the risk of sheep acquiring internal parasites.
Predator Friendly : We encourage our growers to use trained sheep guardian dogs (not trapping or shooting) and the inclusion of other larger animals, such as llamas, to guard the flock.
Healthy Veterinary Practices : Only certain kinds of medications and supplements can be used to treat the sheep. We suggest alternative caring methods to keep sheep healthy with fewer chemicals.
Chemical Control : We oppose the use of herbicides and pesticides on fields that the sheep will be grazing in. We are able to determine if growers use these chemicals in our routine wool chemical testing.
Specifications for Breed, Color, Strength and Micron-Width : The Woolgatherer Carding Mill blend uses wool from six to eight different breeds, depending on availability. We do not allow black wool and very little canary yellow wool in our Shasta Eco Wool blend.
Skirting : Skirting is the process of removing less-desirable wool from the belly and back end of the sheep. This wool is separated on a skirting table and sold to other clients.
In addition to personal visits to assure proper growing methods, we send samples of our wool to two separate laboratories for chemical testing. A sample of the raw wool is sent to the University of Utah, and a sample of the batting is sent to Oeko-Tech Laboratory in Germany.
The University of Mass-Lowell performed tests comparing our batting to a competitor’s for strength, resilience, flammability, and endurance. Their tests demonstrated that a mattress made with Shasta Eco Wool batting would last twice as long as the competitor’s before flattening on top.