Wool is a natural fibre produced by sheep. Sheep grow wool on their bodies in the same way people grow hair. As wool grows out from the sheep’s skin, it forms groups of wavy fibres called staples. This natural crimp (wave) gives wool its elasticity (springiness). Shearers remove the wool from sheep using specially–designed handpieces, which are like the hair clippers hairdressers use to cut our hair. This is called shearing. Sheep can be shorn each year and their wool keeps growing back, just like our hair grows between haircuts. After shearing, wool is processed and made into lots of products we use every day — textiles, clothing and furnishings.
Wool is also a fully renewable fibre, because sheep produce new fleece every year. The animals are typically sheared once a year. This helps them be more comfortable during the warmer months. Sheep then regrow their coat over the course of the next few months to be ready in time for the cooler weather.