To make sheep’s wool suitable as an insulation material, it must undergo a series of processes directly after it has been shorn from the sheep.
The first of these processes requires the farmer to sort the wool according to colour. Since the wool can vary in colour from grey/black to white, this sorting procedure is necessary as white wools fetch a considerably higher price when sold. This is primarily due to their adaptability to be dyed a variety of colours in comparison to black wools which are limited to darker shades.
After this initial sorting process, the wool is then brought to merchants for detailed classification and is packed into pressed bales. These bales will be marked with the contents, describing the fibre thickness, length, colour and vegetable matter content. Each bale is press packed with over 400kg of wool to minimise the cost and energy required to transport the wool to the scouring (washing) plant.
At the scouring plant, the bales are opened and the wool is mixed together to produce a particular blend which meets the required specifications. This blend then undergoes a scouring process, whereby the wool is washed in warm water through a series of baths.
Upon leaving each successive bath, the wool gradually becomes cleaner until such time as it is entirely clean with all traces of dirt, vegetable matter and lanolin now removed leaving only the raw fibre remaining. To complete the scouring process the wool is finally immersed in a solution which protects the fibres from pests and further improves fire resistance.
Once dried, the wool is then carded (combed), so all of the fibres are running in the same direction. This extremely thin layer of carded wool fibres is now layered numerous times to give the end product it's desired thickness. These layers are mechanically bonded to produce a thick, strong roll of insulation.
Finally, these rolls are wound, packaged in 2 or 3 rolls per bag and colour-code labelled to facilitate easy handling during installation. Sheep Wool Insulation is now ready to save energy for our newest customers!