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SGS independently samples and tests greasy (unwashed) wool to verify quality and quantity across different criteria.

We operate to International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) standards wherever possible.

Our wool measurement services include certified tests for:

  • Yield – determining the amount of clean wool (woolbase), and vegetable matter contamination in a sample
  • Mean fibre diameter – the average fineness of the wool (fibre thickness), which is a primary determinant of wool value 
  • Colour – measured as tristimulus values, and normally used to assess clean colour brightness (Y value) and yellowness (Y-Z value)

We also perform additional tests, as required:

  • Staple length and strength – we use the average staple length, staple strength and position of break to assess the performance of apparel wools in the worsted processing system
  • Bulk – this measures the fibres’ ability to fill space and also relates to resilience, which are important properties for applications such as carpets, futons and insulation
  • Fibre curvature – relates to bulk, compressibility and crimp and is cited as an influence on processing
  • Fibre diameter distribution – information about aspects of the diameter distribution may affect assessments of comfort and processing performance
  • Diameter-length profile – measuring the average diameter at increments along the length of wool staples may be important for managing sheep flocks and, in the future, may assist in predicting processing performance 
  • Medullation – refers to the hollow fibres in wool and other animal fibres, which causes uneven dye uptake and adversely affects appearance in apparel wools (but may be desirable for some carpet types)

We can also test greasy wool samples using a variety of low-cost fleece testing methods that are specifically designed for animal selection purposes.

To verify the quality and quantity of greasy wool across a range of criteria, contact SGS now to ask about our independent testing services.