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A review on some factors affecting wool quality parameters of sheep

G. Gelaye
B. Sandip
T. Mestawet


Wool is a natural fibre with a unique amalgamation of properties that are exploited in garment industry. The wool industry, in particular the production of fine wool, has a notable role in world trade and the price of the wool is dependent on quality. Accordingly, wool characteristics have direct impact on wool prices set by processors and industry. These properties can particularly benefit the wearer of the garment during exercise. There are different factors affecting wool quality parameters both with direct and indirect involvement. The environmental and genetics are the main factors affecting quality and quantity of wool from sheep. Infections related to skin and parasitic infestations have direct influence on the quality of wool. Breed or genotype is one of the main genetic factors that influences the product and productivity as well as quality of wool from sheep that is fleece from different sheep breeds is different in its both physical and chemical characteristics. Hormonal changes in relation to sex of sheep also have effect on the wool quality traits. The main objective of this review was to define and explore key wool characteristics, such as staple length, number of crimp, fibre type, fibre diameter, wool wax and scouring yield in regards to quality and interventions approaches for improving. In most of studies, non-genetic factors such as age, season, shearing period, shearing frequency and nutrition have a significant effect on traits viz.  staple length, wool wax, scouring yield, fibre diameter and for other traits as well. Conducting a research on wool quality characteristics is an  operative way of defining and differentiating the quality of wool. Acquiring knowledge of the wool quality characteristics can help to manage the  end use products, consumers comfort and processing intensity. Therefore, an understanding of the factors affecting physical and chemical properties of wool traits is important to improve the quality of wool through genetics and management interventions. This article reviews some important quality attributes of wool for the product and productivity development and value addition.