Wool & Mohair Grades

There are three different standards of wool grading done. This leads to a great confusion about what kind of wool that is being described.

The blood system is based on the percentage of Merino in a sheep's ancestry. It includes six market grades. Originally these grade referred to the amount of Merino blood in the sheep. Currently, the names refer to the diameter of the fiber. With this standard, "fine" refers to the diameter of the fiber, not the quality of the wool.

The numerical count system divides the wool into 14 grades, designated by a number. This originated in the 18th century in England and is based on the number of 560-yard skeins that can be produced from one pound of clean wool top. With this system the larger number will be a finer wool. The problem is that there were too many variables involved and a pound of the fiber rarely produced the implied yarn.

Both systems are fairly subjective, which has led to a third system. It is called the micron system and is based on the micron count. A micron is 1/25,400 of an inch.

Classes and Grades of Wool
Type of Wool Old Blood Grade Numerical Count Grade Micron System Combing Wool French Combing Wool Clothing Wool
Fine Fine Finer than 80s Under 17.70 -- -- --
Fine Fine 80s 17.70 - 19.14 2.75 1.25 - 2.75 1.25
Fine Fine 70s 19.15 - 20.59 2.75 1.25 - 2.75 1.25
Fine Fine 64s 20.60 - 22.04 2.75 1.25 - 2.75 1.25 - 1.50
Medium 1/2 blood 62s 22.05 - 23.49 3.0 1.5 - 3.0 1.5
Medium 1/2 blood 60s 23.50 - 24.94 3.0 1.5 - 3.0 1.5
Medium 3/8 blood 58s 24.95 - 26.39 3.25 2.0 - 3.25 2.0
Medium 3/8 blood 56s 26.40 - 27.84 3.25 2.0 - 3.25 2.0
Medium 1/4 blood 54s 27.85 - 29.29 3.5 2.5 - 3.5 2.5
Medium 1/4 blood 50s 29.30 - 30.99 3.5 2.5 - 3.5 2.5
Coarse Low 1/4 48s 31.00 - 32.69 4.0 -- 4.0
Coarse Low 1/4 46s 32.70 - 34.39 4.0 -- 4.0
Coarse Common 44s 34.00 - 36.19 5.0 -- 5.0
Very Coarse Braid 40s 36.20 - 38.09 5.0 -- 5.0
Very Coarse Braid 36s 38.10 - 40.20 5.0 -- --
Very Coarse Braid Coarser than 36s Over 40.20 -- -- --

There are three different standards of mohair grading done.

Classes and Grades of Mohair
Current Trade Terminology Grade of Mohair Micron System
No. 1 Kid Finer than 40s under 23.01
No. 1 Kid 40s 23.01 - 25.00
No. 1 Kid 36s 25.01 - 27.00
No. 2 Kid 32s 27.01 - 29.00
No. 2 Kid 30s 29.01 - 31.00
No. 1 Grown & Yearling 28s 31.01 - 33.00
No. 1 Grown & Yearling 26s 33.01 - 35.00
No. 2 Grown 24s 35.01 - 37.00
No. 2 Grown 22s 37.01 - 39.00
No. 3 Grown 20s 39.01 - 41.00
No. 3 Grown 18s 41.01 - 43.00
No. 3 Grown coarser than 18s over 43.01

If you have comments, please send email to: Rosemary Brock.

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