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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 27, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 16 THE lETHBSItGE HECAID Tuesday, June 11, 1975- Wool growing is important fly IVY BUCKWEIX Special to The Herald Some years ago I was asked to give o paper on a Canadian industry and chose to go "wool gathering" with following result. Wool growing is a very im- portant industry, from the care of the stieep that produce the wool, to the finislied product. Wool, next to cotton, is the most extensively used material In the manufacture of cloth and clothing. Wool was a war casualty as far as civilians were concern- ed, because the Armed Forces of the United Nations relied on wool for proper clclliing for soldiers, sailors and airmen. The best dressed and supplied mail at [lie time was soldier, sailor or airman with their woollen underclothes, uniforms and great-coats, as well as blankets. They relied on wool- len clothes to keep warm. Wool affords great comfort without much weight and is a protection against extreme heat as well as cold. It is the most healthful of all clothing. Canada imports much of her wool as output which is only about 20 million pounds annual- IVY BUCKWEU Long cmociotion with sheep ly. Domestic use is about 100 million pounds. Even so, much of her domestic output is slu'p- ped to the United States and other markets. About one-fifth of Canada's sheep population is located in southern Alberta, making the industry important here. Canada is trying to improve both quality and quantity, and Canadian sheep farmers have succeeded in creating a wool second to none in strength and quality. But it is doubtful if Canada will produce sufficient for domestic needs. Wool is graded as coarse, medium, and fine according to length and size of fibre. Cashmere goat has a fine silky fleece with an outer coat of long coarse hairs. The Inner coat is very fine and delicate to handle. Beautiful shawls and fabrics are made of it. Alpaca and mohair also come from the Cashmere goat, most likely the outer, coat being used in part for Alpaca. The caracul sheep has a fine hair-like wool, and it is'used extensively. There are some caracul sheep in Saskatchewan, but the Cashmere goat thrives best in its native mountains, the Himalayans. The llama or alpaca Is anoth- er source of wool, having a fine lustrous soft fleece which makes beautiful fabrics that are delightful to wear. It and camel's hair have a thermo- static quality. Care has to be taken when shearing and packing wool, to see that the soiled tags of wool are packed separately, that burrs and other foreign mater- ials are removed and that the fleece is tied with paper twine, not binder twine, as the small strands of the latter stick to the wool and cause defects when dyed. Burlap bags aren't the right kind to use to pack the wool for shipping. In preparing the wool for manufacture, it has to be cleaned from all impurities. In the washing process much of the natural grease is removed. As a certain amount of grease is needed in the wool for the manufacturing process, oil is sprinkled on it to replace the natural grease. The washing process is inter- esting. The wool is conveyed on a travelling apron to the first wash bowl forks, gradually coming to squeezing rollers from where it emerges much cleaner and nearly dry. This process is repeated to the last bowl, then it is carded into a filmy mass, removing all the sand and most of the burrs. It is washed again, dried and drops of the best olive oil are sprinkled on it as it passes tlirough the preparatory filling machine to be combed. The combing takes out the short and weak fibres and any impurities left. Dividing the wool into two parts called tops and tails. The first is the long wool used by the worsted spin- ner, the second is used in mak- ing blankets, flannels, tweeds and other woollen clothes. The combing is a rather in- tricate process and the general success of the wool is depen- dent upon it. The wool for wor- steds is combed and for wool- lens is carded. The carding machines automatically feed, weigh and distribute the wool. After carding or combing, it is in long fleecy ropes, which must be reduced in size before use for warp or woof. The wool used for woof is soft and fragile. Warp is stronger and is ob- tained by more twist to yarn or by two strands being twisted together, which gives it a better weaving value. It is often used for woof also for making the best segres. From the days of hand looms to now when most is done by machinery; the wool industry has progressed. Still, spinning and hand looms are used by in- dividual women with great suc- cess in rooking cflojhes for their families and for sale. The finishing of a piece of cloth is a very interesting part of the whole process. Young women, specially trained, in- spect the cloth inch by inch with the use of a microscope. After, the cloth is washed be- cause in going through the loom, it has been stained with grease spots. While still satur- ated with soap, it is pounded and hammered, which closes up the fibres and shrinks the cloth to the desired width. This is called milling. It increases the strength of the cloth by bring- ing the fibers closer. Included in the washing pro- cess is a step where tlie suda are run into tanks and the wool-grease is separated from the water with vitriol. This is done by being pressed under, heat in a special machine. The fluid oil is run off and put in casks to be sold for axle grease. The press cakes left car. be used for fertilizer. Wool grease is also used aa a base for most expensive per- fumes. Wool is not a hot material. In proper weight and weaves, it U a cool material for sum- mer use. It is used extensively in the tropics. It is not always heavy and bulky as it used to be. Today wool fabrics can be as light and sheer as may be desired. Sheer wool crepe is used in wedding gowns. Madam's woolies are soft and not so scratchy, depending on the degree of fineness, nor is wool hard to care for. Good wool resists soil and wrinkles. It cleans easily. Wool has, a natural tlwrrno- static quality which makes it very suitable for sudden changes in temperatures. Experiments have shown that several layers of light-weight wool gives- -more protection- from the cold than one heavy garment. Shoddy is made from shred- ded wool and rags, and wool powder is added to inferior wools which can be made into attractive and serviceable clothes. This material is not as strong as new fibres, so, in re- weaving, a certain amount at the new material Li added. It is not done in an attempt to de- ceive, but to make a useful material for people with limited means. Wool Is the oldest textile fab- ric. With synthetic fabrics here to stay, it is up to the woollen industry to produce a wool that is unshrinkable; that will not age with the sunlight and that moths can not destroy. This is all in the laboratory stage and is coming soon. By care of wool all the way from the sheep's back to the finished product and with care- ful grading, people are assured of garments that have all the glamor of silk, satin or chiffon in the fashion parade. anchors have to continually buy the feeder animals. The main reason for FEEDER OPERATIONS NUMEROUS This is a typical scene in the Lethbridge district, a large supply of colfle being fed and fattened for the market. Most of ihe farms and ranches in the district buy feeder calves On o year-round basis and foed for 90 or 140 days. The cow population in the Lethbridge County Is net very high this year so most farmers and ;