Wool is the
Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair or fur: it is crimped and elastic. Wool fabrics clean easily. Wool also absorbs moisture and insulates against heat and cold.
Wool can be
Australia is the world's largest producer of raw wool, growing about 30 percent of the total world supply. Less wool is produced than in the middle 20th century, because people use more synthetic fibers.
Sheep were domesticated (tamed) in southwestern Asia about 11,000 years ago and now about 1 billion are now widely bred around the world.
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Wool is produced by follicles which are small cells located in the skin. These follicles are located in the upper layer of the skin called the epidermis and push down into the second skin layer called the dermis as the wool fibers grow. Follicles can be classed as either primary or secondary follicles. Primary follicles produce three types of fiber, Kemp (wool), medullated fibers and true wool fibers. Secondary follicles only produce true wool fibers. Medullated fibers share nearly identical characteristics to hair and are long but lack crimp and elasticity. Kemp fibers are very coarse and shed out.
Rag is a sturdy wool fiber made into yarn and used in many rugged applications such as gloves. Worsted is a strong, long-staple, combed wool yarn with a hard surface. Woolen is a soft, short-staple, carded wool yarn typically used for knitting