Grading & Scouring
There is a huge variety of sheep breeds and the different wool types are suitable for different products. While the wool of Blackface sheep is hardwearing and perfect for use in carpets, Merino wool is usually used for soft items like scarves and baby blankets.
Even within one breed there are big differences between individual sheep and where on the sheep the wool has grown. It’s the job of experienced wool graders to sort wool into different qualities, which will then be sold at an auction. After grading the wool gets packed into bales and is sent off for scouring or washing.