In my last post I talked a little bit about sheep, and how important they were in the medieval world. They could survive on rough terrain and in moderately cold weather, and they provided a variety of important products, such as meat, milk (which could be drunk or made into cheese), parchment, and of course, wool. Even their bones could be used to make tools, like sewing needles, and the ankles were turned into dice for games.
Though wool could be taken from other animals, the primary source was sheep. Not all wool was alike, however. The quality varied among different breeds and even colors, with white sheep producing a finer product that could be more easily dyed to desirable colors. Once a sheep was shorn, its wool was separated out into different grades, each one used for a different purpose.
Once the wool had been separated out, it had…
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