Faults

Seed Contamination
During the life of the animal seeds make their way through the outer layer of wool and penetrate into the skin causing small wounds and scar tissue as healing occurs. The scar tissue creates imperfections that can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to correct. In some cases the scar tissue can actually fall out after processing, leaving small holes. Seed Contamination is less important for finished products where the pelt is not seen such as car seat covers, mouton, or woolen underlays, however double faced products such as footwear require skins that are visibly free of seed damage.

SOFT SEEDS:
1) Visually Seed Free:
Skins are visually free of seed contamination. This means there maybe some seed contamination, however the contamination is not visually apparent.

2) Light Seedy:
Minimal seed contamination visible in the wool and mainly concentrated in the belly regions.

3) Medium Seedy:
Light seed contamination present over most of the wool surface but is concentrated around the bellies and legs.

4) Heavy Seedy:
Heavy contamination extending through most of the wool but especially around the bellies and legs.

HARD SEEDS:
5) Burry:
Wool contaminated with hard seed with heavy to light concentration.

If Hard Seeds are not removed before fleshing, they can be lodged into or pushed through the pelt by the fleshing rollers, causing irreversible damage.

Mushy Belly
Mushy Wool refers to wool without any regular staple / uniform crimp, and is more common in old sheep in bad seasons. Mushy Wool gives a poor return of top wool and a large quantity of short and broken fibers (noil). Some animals have a greater tendency to produce Mushy Wool in the Belly region. This is referred to as Mushy Belly.

Rib
Australian Merinos are bred with extra skin folds providing greater skin area to produce more wool per animal. These extra skin folds cause Rib Lines the pelt, which tend to follow the same direction at the rib cage of the sheep. The degree of the Rib Effect is classified as Light, Medium or Heavy. Heavy Rib is very noticeable in the pelt, and can usually be seen in the wool as well. Heavy Rib can cause skins to tear easily along the Rib Lines during fleshing.

Shear Scar
Sheep may receive open cuts and/or scratches at shearing time when wool is removed from the skin. The pelts of animals slaughtered soon after shearing may show Shear Scar if there has been excessive damage or insufficient time for the wound to heal. The damage can vary from 1-2 cuts (Very Light) to Very Heavy. Very Heavy Shear Scar would render the skin useless.  Shear Scar is particularly applicable to Bare Skins that are removed very soon after shearing.

Weather Tip
In some animals, the outer most 5mm of the wool tip can be weather affected by over exposure to the elements (sun, rain or dirt). The Weather Tip will response to treatments differently to the clean wool beneath, especially during dying or bleaching where the Weather Tip may be stained (causing darker patches) or already sun bleached (causing lighter patches). Weather tip cannot be corrected, and is usually removed from the fleece before processing. A Wool Length allowance should be made for skins with Weather Tip.

Tender Wool and Other Faults
Dermatitis and other skin diseases can affect wool quality, and these skins are usually removed from the selection. A variety of other conditions such as lice infestation, dead wool, tender wool and regrowth will also reduce the wool quality, and depending on the severity, these skins should also be removed. The strength of wool fibers weakens as the wool grows longer..
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