How to Buy Wool on eBay

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How to Buy Wool on eBay

Items made from wool fabrics can withstand years of everyday usage and overall wear and tear without breaking down significantly. Aside from the warmth and softness that wool brings to clothing, it is also a perfect choice for upholstery. Due to the fact that upholstery is more exposed and handled more frequently, it tends to accumulate more grease and dirt. However, when the fabric is made from wool, the upholstered items can better resist soiling and be cleaned easier, as opposed to becoming matted like other fabrics.

Additionally, wool is also has inherent resistance to heat and flames, and its ability to absorb and dispel sweat makes it not only perfect for upholstery but also for suits, blankets, and public transport interiors. Wool is considered a luxurious fabric with high performance values based on its ability to retain its initial appearance, its elasticity, tactile properties, and its ability to resist wrinkles.

Before buyers attempt to buy wool fabrics, they should learn about the various types available and what they would be most suited for. The same can be said for buyers who want to buy wool for hand spinning; they should learn about the different types based on the sheep breed, the fibre diameter, staple length, and the best end use after it is spun.

Types of Wool for Hand Spinning

When buyers are planning to purchase wool for hand spinning, they may find that even wool derived from the same sheep breed may still have a large variation. As a matter of fact, a large variation can be found in the fleece deriving from only one sheep. The main variations are a derivative of the length of the staple, the fibre coarseness to the body, crimp, the stain discolouration, and the entanglement level between each fibre.

However, even with the many variations, there are still only two main categories that gravely affect the end use of the wool after it has been spun into yarn. Coarse wool is generally used in the construction of rugged items, such as rugs and carpets, and fine wool is used to make baby clothes, undergarments, and other delicate productions. The table below displays the variations in broad terms and what they may be used for after being spun.

Breed

Type

Fibre Diameter (µm)

Staple Length (mm)

End Use

Merino

Fine

21

0-75

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; fine knitwear

Merino

Medium

23

75-100

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; fine knitwear

Merino or Polwarth

Strong

25

75-100

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; lightweight knitwear

Half-Bred or Corriedale

NA

25-29

100-125

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; medium-weight knitwear

Romney or Perendale

Fine

30-32

125-150

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; lightweight knitwear

Romney, Perendale, or Coopworth

Medium

33-35

NA

Knit; crochet; baby clothing; heavyweight knitwear; blankets; rugs

Romney, Coopworth, Leicester, or Lincoln

Coarse

36+

150-300

Knit; crochet; blankets; outer garments

Drysdale

NA

NA

15-00

Rugs; carpets

Cheviot, Dorset, Ryeland, Hampshire, or Southdown

NA

21-30

50-100

Knit; crochet; blankets; rugs; shawls; lightweight knitwear

The fibre diameter is measured in micrometres or microns, and it is probably the most significant physiognomy of wool when determining value. In essence, the finer the fibres, the lower the microns. Additionally, buyers should select staples that are long and clearly defined, the longer the better.

Types of Wool Materials

Wool fabrics are used in the making of many items from clothing and blankets to insulation and upholstery. Wool fabrics are broken down into categories based on how they are woven or formed. Some fabrics are better suited for particular end products than others, so buyers should become familiar with the various types of wool fabrics and their ideal usage.

Wool Felt

Wool felt is probably the most popular non-apparel wool fabric. It is a non-woven cloth that results from the pressing, matting, and condensing of wool fibres. Felt fabrics have a lot of variation where they can range from very soft to very rough textures and be found in any shape or size.

Uses

Felt is often used as a damper or muffler in various industries and constructions. For instance, it is used in the automotive industry to muffle vibrations between inside panels, often used to cover piano keys, and also used to absorb noise in stereo speakers. Moreover, it is used to minimize noise and dust in heavy machinery, to wrap bass drums and mallets, and to lessen the chance of drum cymbals cracking,

Tweed

Tweed fabric is considered "unfinished" woollen fabric, which is soft, flexible, and open. It is often woven in plain or twill style and may comprise a herringbone or chequered pattern. Often, spinners achieve remarkable heather mixtures or colour effects by twisting various coloured wool strands into yarn of two or three ply.

Uses

Tweed fabric is generally used in the making of informal outerwear due to its durability and moisture resistance. The cloth made from tweed is often worn for rugged outdoor activities, such as hunting or shooting. Traditional Scottish tweed is also known as Lovat. Some retro and vintage guitars are also covered in tweed material, but it is mainly used for clothing.

Worsted

Worsted wool is made from pasture wool with long staples. This type of wool is not specific to one particular sheep breed but can be derived from various breeds, such as Romney, Teeswaters, and Leicester.

Carding is the mechanical method that is used to detangle, clean, and intermix wool, but pasture wool does not go through that process. Instead, it is merely washed, gilled, and then combed with metal long teeth combs that have been heated. After which, the wool is oiled and then spun.

Uses

Worsted wool is great for making suits and tailored clothing. This is due to the fact that the wool is durable and can be worn year-round. Some worsted fabrics may be a little heavier or lighter than others based on the weave technique that is used, but on average, they can be considered mid-weight. Some sellers provide additional information with the fabric that may not be easily understood unless the jargon is known. For instance, if the worsted wool fabric is said to have high twist of 100, super 120, or super 150; this implies that the yarn that was used to weave the fabric had more than the 60 to 80 twists that is the standard for twisted yarn. Therefore, with the additional twists, the cloth would be finer and maybe lighter. Clothing made from high twist worsted wool may not be conducive to winter wear.

Woollen

Woollen spun yarns are generally softer and luxuriously thicker than others with shorter fibres. The wool is usually carded unlike worsted wool, which is hot combed. The carded fibres ends up going in various directions as opposed to being parallel; thus, the yarn incorporates more air.

Uses

Woollen yarn is generally knitted into fabrics that are great for making sweaters and blankets. Fabrics made from this type of yarn generally appear fuller and bulkier.

How to Buy Wool on eBay

When you plan to buy wool on eBay, you should perform a search based on the type of wool that you are seeking. For instance, if you are looking to buy wool fabrics, you can simply perform a search for wool fabric, and that provides a listing with various types of materials for you to choose from. However, if you are looking to purchase yarn, it would be best to search for wool yarn so that your search does not bring up too many already completed fabrics. After that initial search, you now have the opportunity to select additional filters to narrow down your options. Filters include type, colour, material, and pattern.

Either of the above searches can produce overwhelming results, so if you would rather avoid the filtering process and are already certain of the yarn or fabric specifics; relevant keywords can be added to the search term to reduce the number of results. It is always best to try to use one or two of the selections that a filter would have used. For instance, you could type "Black upholstery felt", which would already indicate the colour, type, and wool material in your results. Perform your searches and set filters until you find the desired item and then make your payment.

Conclusion

People buy wool for various reasons, and the reason often dictates the type of wool that is purchased. Raw wool is often bought to be spun, yarn is bought to be knitted and crocheted, and fabric is bought to be made into clothes, blankets, and other by-products. Buyers should also keep in mind the staple length and fibre diameter that is associated with each type of wool and sheep breed.

Buyers need to learn about the various types of wool available as well as the purpose that they are best suited for. Additionally, buyers who are interested in buying fabrics that are already spun from raw wool or yarn need to also learn about the available types and the by-product that often result from these fabrics.

eBay can serve as a one-stop shop for either type of wool purchase. That is to say that eBay has a wide variety of wool fabrics as well as yarn and raw wool to serve any purpose. They also make shopping easy by allowing buyers to search and utilize filters to quickly find what they are looking for.

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