Skirting a Fleece

1640 South 600 East * Salt Lake City~ UT * 84105 * 801.668.0563

Skirting is the process of removing sections of the fleece which are dirty, coarse, or contaminated.

For Sheep Fleeces

wool fleece

We will try and help you know what fiber is preferable and which is not. The sketch on the right is a wool fleece. It has been marked with words to help you know a fleece better. This will help you understand the best parts of a fleece.

On shearing day, the belly, leg, face, and head wool are usually separated and discarded as they’re shorn by the shearer or shepherd. Most of the fleeces you buy should be skirted, but in the case it is not, here are some suggestions.

For Alpaca Fleeces

alpaca sketch

We will try and help you know what fiber is preferable and which is not. The sketch on the right is an alpaca. It has been marked with words to help you know a fleece better. This will help you understand the best parts of a fleece.

The prime clip or blanket area of the alpaca fleece can come off in one piece, other areas are taken off in sections. While the alpaca is being shorn, many alpaca owners will separate the blanket from seconds.

There are times when the neck area is of good quality and sometimes portions of it are similar in quality to the blanket, but usually it should be put in a second-grade bag. But if you find areas of the neck are of the same weight and quality as the blanket, put them in the blanket bag. The middle legs are usually also of good quality, and should go into the second-grade bag. Some people make a "third-grade" or "remainders" bag for fibres of less quality than seconds. Though most of the 2nds and 3rds are too short to process without the addition of wool. Please ask your shearer not to go back over the alpaca to clean up uneven areas until all of the good fiber has been collected. While second and 3rd grade fibers aren't a good choice for spinning yarn, they can be used for felting!

For Mohair Fleeces

goat sketch

We will try and help you know what fiber is preferable and which is not. The sketch on the left is a mohair goat. It has been marked with words to help you know a fleece better. This will help you understand the best parts of a fleece.

There are a few different shearing methods used with Angora goats. One way is to leave the fleece in one piece which uses the same technique as sheep shearing. The 2nd method is called a "go-down" method of shearing. This is done to allow the fleece come off in sections with the end result being a collection of shorn locks on the floor. While the angora goat is being shorn, many owners will separate the prime clip from second- and third-grade fiber, and discard all waste.

An easily built skirting or drying table

fencing We have included our intructions on building a skirting table or drying rack here. We do suggest building 2 of them, so when you are skirting, you can place one on top of the other with the fleece sandwiched in between for shaking veg matter and 2nd cuts out.

CONTACT:

Jim and Lynn Snell
801.668.0563
1640 S. 600 E
SLC,UT 84105
email: spinderellas523@msn.com

Share |