Sheep Wool – Facts and Benefits

In Romania, the wool production played an important role in sheep-raising from 1950 to 1989. At the time, wool was the main production objective of the Tigai breed raising. Socio-political changes and economic reforms that have taken place in Romania after `89 had caused significant changes in the growth and exploitation of sheep flocks, so the wool is no longer so important today.

Between 1992 and 1993 greasy wool production in Eastern Europe was 80,000 tonnes, of which 34% alone was produced in Romania (Barrett et al., 1993). However, demand for wool production still exists, so per client`s request, Romanian company Seradria delivers sheep with or without wool.

The Turcana Sheep

The Turcana breed is the most impor­tant sheep breed in Romania, with about 70 percent of the market. It is a multi-purpose breed raised for milk, meat and wool production. Because the breed is very well adapted to the alpine pasture, the Turcana Sheep is also called “The Queen of the Mountains”, “Mountain peasant” or “Valachian sheep”.

The rams of this breed are usually about 60-80 kg, while ewes are 40-55 kg.

The Turcana sheep have a denser under wool and are white, grey or black. The longest hairs of these sheep are 12-36 cm long and is important to know that these long hairs grow over a denser under wool of thinner hairs, mostly 10-19 cm long.

The annual amount of wool obtained per animal is 2 to 3.5 kg and the thread fineness is 35 microns, which is why this wool is used in the textile industry.

The Tigai Sheep

Tigai Sheep is the second most important sheep breed in Romania, after Turcana, with over 24% of the national sheep herds. Is a multipurpose sheep breed, with a live weight of up to 90 kg, with white and brown wool, reddish or spotted face and legs. Wool productions from Tigai breed are over 4 kg from males.

Tigai wool is semi-fine uniform, with 28 to 32 microns. Tigai breeds produce between 1.5-3 kg of wool and 4-4.5 kg, and the rams 3-5 kg. Therefore, the wool of the Tigai sheep is used mainly for making thicker cloths and blankets.

This breed, characterized by transhumance and related to Merino sheep, is kept extensively in mountainous and sub-mountainous regions with large pasture areas.

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