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Countries that produce the most wool

Although wool is produced all over the world, there are 5 countries that produced the most wool in 2008: Australia 477,000 tons of wool China 398,800 tons of wool New Zealand 216,900 tons of wool Argentina 78,000 tons of wool Iran 53,900 tons of wool This is a lot of wool! So what do we do with it all?
China 33% New Zealand 18% Australia 39% Australia China New Zealand Argentina Iran

Wool produced in main countries

Argentina 6%

Iran 4%

Products made from wool


There are a lot of products made from wool from clothes to rugs here are some of the main products made from wool: Uniforms, eg police and firemen Felt tip pens Sleeping bags Flags Insulation for roofs in houses. Carpets Billiard table covers Blankets Tapestry

There is a big market for wool products because there are many more wool products that are made all over the world which get made in large quantities. The main end uses of wool are clothing and carpets; we also get lanolin from wool.

The main properties of wool


Wool: Is durable because the fibres have natural elasticity so that they stretch under pressure and then spring back, helping woolen garments to keep their shape. Is comfortable because it is light, and warm. It also absorbs odours and allows our skin to breath. Resists dirt because there is an outer layer of scales on the wool fibres, it is harder for dirt and dust to penetrate them. Resists static because the wool absorbs moisture from the air, it is more difficult for static to build up compared to other fibres and fabrics. Fire resistant wool doesnt burn easily and its fibres dont melt or stick to your skin like synthetic fibres. Repels water because the scales on the outer layer of each fibre repel liquid and so it takes a long time before wool become wet. Is a complex protein covered by an outer layer of scales. Is a natural insulator because wool absorbs moisture, it draws moisture away from your body and then heats it within the fibres.

What does a wool fibre look like under the microscope?

This is a wool fibre under a microscope; it certainly looks very different that what we see with our naked eye. It is very ridged and doesnt look like a piece of wool.

How should items made from wool be cleaned?


Clothes made from wool should be should be hand washed in cool water using a mild detergent, and no bleach, as bleach will dissolve the wool fibres. Once you have washed the garment, you should rinse it in cool water, then gently squeeze out the excess water and lay the garment flat to dry, making sure you re-shape to its original shape and size. Some woolen garments can be washed in a machine using the delicate setting. Woolen garments should be ironed on the wrong side of the fabric, use a pressing motion, not rubbing, to avoid shiny spots, and do make sure that the iron is set to a woolen or warm setting not too hot.

Never:
Dry wool in direct sunlight. Hang wool items to dry as they will lose their shape. Dry wool in a tumble dryer as the heat will cause it to shrink.