Handle a fleece well and rolling it correctly can reap rewards at the grading stage.
Fiona Reuter, the BWMB’s Welsh regional co-ordinator, who organises shearing courses across Wales, takes Farmers Weekly through the rolling process, including:
- How to lay out the fleece
- Which end to roll from
- If you should include belly wool
- How to present it.
1. The fleece should be picked up by its back legs to lift it from the shearing board; scoop up the remainder.
2. Throw out the fleece onto a table, laying it flat and keeping the tail end nearest to you; the fleece should be flesh-side down
3. If the belly wool is a true representation of the fleece, include this by placing it in the centre of the fleece.
It should be added to the fleece if it is clean and dry, and of the same breed of sheep. For example, it wouldn’t be acceptable to include the belly wool of a Welsh Mountain with a Texel fleece. It shouldn’t be included if it is wet or caked in mud or vegetable matter.
4. Fold in the sides, revealing the flesh side of the fleece. Then roll tightly from the back legs towards the head because this shows the shoulder wool – the best wool on the fleece.
5. Once the fleece is tightly rolled, make a small hole in the bundle and neatly tuck the neck piece into that hole. Place the fleece in the wool bag.