When the cold arrives, our first instinct is to take out our pretty, warm winter sweaters. And wool is an invaluable and highly valued material. It comes to us from sheep and is recognized and appreciated for its ability to warm us quickly and comfortably. Yes, but when you think about it, how many sheep do we need to have a wool sweater capable of keeping us warm during the winter? The editorial team has looked into this knitting riddle and provides answers.
Wool: a queen in the textile kingdom
With its natural warmth and luxurious, cozy appearance, wool is considered the superhero of winter. It is obtained by shearing in order to rid the animals of their fleece, an operation which is of capital importance for the health of the sheep. In fact, it makes it easier for the skin to breathe but it is also necessary to remove parasites and dirt stuck in animal hair.
Since prehistoric times, wool has forged its place among humans. Depending on the fiber, its natural properties are generally insulating and thermoregulatory. This material is especially appreciated in winter, because it allows you to make sweaters that keep the body warm during this harsh season.
Several varieties of sheep provide us with the wool needed to make warm and cozy sweaters. Each breed has its own characteristics and properties:
merino sheep, which produces a fine wool that is very popular in the textile industry and particularly in the manufacture of sports clothing. A single sheep can produce between three and six kilos of wool per year. Shetland sheep produce wool known to retain its original natural properties because this breed has not undergone any modifications initiated by man. The wool of this sheep is soft, light and well insulating. the Karakul sheep, less known, but appreciated for its curly and very resistant wool. How much sheep do you need to have a very warm wool sweater? learned calculations
Well, now is the time to put our brains to work to elucidate this enigma. But don’t panic, it is not necessary to state complicated mathematical theories, just to have a little logic.
Indeed, the answer to the question of how many sheep are needed to make a warm wool sweater depends on several factors: the size (we agree, there is an obvious difference between a size S and a size XXL, the design (long, short or sleeveless sleeves, etc.), adding a hood, a turtleneck, etc. all this brings other data to the calculations.
If we think generally, an adult-sized sweater, made from pure wool, weighs between 600 grams and one kilogram. Incidentally, it should be noted that the weight may be slightly greater when it comes to jackets.
Regarding the supply, a sheep fleece can reach a weight of two to five kilograms, taking into account the thickness of the wool and its quality. This includes, for example, the cleanliness of the fleece, its humidity level, the size of the fiber, etc. In addition, the harvested wool must be free of dirt such as grass, straw, droppings and ointment. This operation causes the raw wool to lose approximately 65% of its weight. Considering an average of three kilos of raw wool harvested, we obtain approximately one kilo of wool after cleaning.
Following this logic, we can therefore conclude, without risk of being mistaken, that the wool of a sheep is sufficient to make a very warm woolen sweater for the winter. So if you have around ten sweaters in your wardrobe, consider that it took around ten sheep to keep you warm!