National Geographic May 1988:Fabric of History Wool

World of Wool

Other animals grow fleecethat can be spun, but wool is neerly synonymous with sheep. Noted authority Michael L. Ryder suggests there are a thousand breeds; more than a billion sheep graze world pastures. Most wool is produced in the Southern Hemisphere and shipped to the Northern Hemisphere. Australia leads in the world production, Japan in imports. The merino supplies a least a third in the world's wool. Spain so valued merinos that it once deemed their export a capitol offense. The breed's fiber is so fine that five strands equal the width of a human hair. Breeds like the Romney and Lincoln produce a coarse fiberused in carpets. Wool from other animals, such as mohair-producing Angora goats and rabbits and South American cameloids- like alpaca and vicuna- are known as specialty fibers.

(Jim said he liked traveling to lots of farms accross the mid-west to get the see of all these sheep.)

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