I read the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Ltd and Canadian Sheep Association industry publication, "Wool Production in Canada."
I learned that "since 1920 annual raw shorn wool production has not met the requirements of Canadian consumption," and that we export wool, 70% of which goes to China. I suppose we buy it back as finished goods?
I learned that "overfed ewes will have coarser wool."
I learned about crutching, where a ewe gets a trim so everything is sanitary when she lambs and nurses. I will hazard a guess that this sheep in the first photo has been crutched and the sheep in the second photo has not:
The publication is very much geared to industry, concerned with managing every aspect in order to get a good return when selling in bulk to the wool clip. Naturally-coloured wool is a dreaded, contaminating influence. Shearing is invariably done under a waterproof roof. There is talk of micron testing and statistical analysis. So, a different side of wool than the handspinner usually sees.
The definitions throughout and the glossary at the back are helpful. If I'd only read them a day earlier, I could have been much more precise and concise in a letter I just sent to a shepherd asking if it was possible to buy washed, unmilled wool. What is the expected shrinkage and yield of raw fleece after scouring, that is what I wanted to say.