Knitting is experiencing a resurgence in popularity not seen since WWII years. Women of all ages are taking to this fun hobby, that has the reward of a beautiful scarf or sweater on completion. Many men are also becoming knitting fanatics. And what every knitting lover wants is beautiful genuine wool yarn to knit with. Yarn comes from the fleece of sheep. It’s an old craft of raising sheep, sheering their wool, carting it to make it soft, washing it, and spinning it into yarn, then dying it into nice colors. After that, it ends up on the shelves of yarn shops.
But just how does one shave a sheep? According to the best electric razor portal, It seems like it may be a difficult process to shave an animal—after all, shaving a dog or cat isn’t that easy either.
Sheep shearing has been done for as long as there have been humans who learned to build farms, and raise sheep. Shearing is a term used that means removing the sheep’s woolen fleece. The person who does it is called a shearer. It can take experience to learn how to sheer an animal that doesn’t necessarily want to cooperate.
Surprisingly, what appears as fleece on the coat of a sheep bears little resemblance to the wool that ends up on the shelf in shops. Fleece is smelly, oily, and thick.
It’s actually a relief to the sheep to remove its fleece, particularly before the hot summer months. It also offers an opportunity to take care of any skin conditions, though the lanolin contained in their wool lubricates and softens, and is often used in human skin care treatments.
Modern shearing is automated, and done with a machine. In competitive shearing competitions the shearer uses a traditional tool called a blade shears or hand shears. Sheep shaving competitions are still held in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.
These shears look like scissors, but they have triangular shaped blades, and are extremely pointed. Machine shearers are safer, as the blade works over a comb that is passed along the skin of the sheep. These devices are kept clean, to prevent infection. They work the same as scissors, with the shearer opening and closing them manually.
Shaving a sheep begins on a shearing stand. Some shearers will use a sling to keep the sheep comfortable, while shaving its belly. The wool is removed from the belly of a sheep first, then the fleece skirting. The wool is trimmed as close to the skin as possible, without cutting or scraping the skin. A professional shearer can remove a fleece in two or three minutes, without hurting the animal.
In colder climates, not all wool may be removed from the sheep during shaving, some may be left behind to keep the animal warm.
There are actually some types of primitive sheep, such as Shetlands, that do not need to be shaved. Once a year the fleece naturally peels away from the body. This natural technique is called rooing.
Learning how to shave a sheep may actually become a more common occupation, the more the demand for wool increases.