Once the wool is shorn the wool bales are shipped to a warehouse. At the warehouse, the wool bales from a single property are grouped into sale lots of similar types.
Core samples are taken from each bale to ensure test results represent all the types in the sale lot. Samples are tested for fibre diameter (micron), vegetable matter, staple strength, length and colour.
A pre-sale certificate is issued that lists all the results from the testing and stays with the sale lot right through to processing.
Every wool bale offered on auction is tested to confirm the wool’s quality and characteristics. Testing is performed with a grab sample, a sample of the wool taken from the centre of the bale.
Wool is a natural fibre and each batch will vary largely in length, colour, fineness and content.
Wool Test Certificates
Wool is tested to international standards and according to the wool testing specifications set out in the IWTO White and Red Books. IWTO licenses laboratories around the world to issue IWTO test certificates, the “gold standard” in the industry.
Most bales of wool will be offered to prospective buyers with an IWTO test certificate. Wool-testing laboratories are audited annually and conform to the international standards set by their local standardisation body.
To learn more about Wool Testing and to find one of IWTO’s licensed laboratories, visit iwto.org/about-iwto/licensed-laboratories/
How Wool is Sold
Most of the world’s wool is sold by auction. Auctions generally take place every week.
Here the price per kilo is determined based on demand, quality and volume on offer.
Once sold, the wool begins its journey to becoming fabric.