Medieval Monday: Wool

Allison D. Reid

parchmentIn 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.

Sheep shearing and reaping 15th COnce the wool had been separated out, it had…

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2 thoughts on “Medieval Monday: Wool

  1. Wool was the lifeblood of British trade for centuries. Not far from where I now live, Kings Lynn in Norfolk was at one time the largest trading port in England, prosperous from the trade in wool, and other exports.
    .”In Kings Lynn salt was boiled in huge copper pans. It was then exported. Another important export was wool. Large amounts of grain were also exported from Kings Lynn. Imports included timber from Scandinavia, pitch (a tar like substance), fish and iron. However Kings Lynn was never a manufacturing center only a port.”
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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