SHEEP notes

May 7, 2010
by WLJ

Washable wool equipment coming to the U.S.

The Sheep Venture Co., the American Sheep Industry Association’s wholly owned for-profit company, received approval of its loan application by the National Livestock Producers Association’s Sheep Loan Fund Committee to purchase manufacturing equipment for the U.S. that will allow wool products to be machine washed and dried without shrinking.

“Currently, this wool shrink-treatment process is only available overseas, which increases costs, delivery times and eligibility for military wool products. Of concern is that our domestic mills are less competitive without this process and it will prohibit the use of washable wool products by the military, which is American wool’s largest domestic customer,” says Margaret Soulen Hinson.

The equipment will be housed at Chargeurs Wool USA in Jamestown, SC, the one remaining topmaking facility in the U.S., which will allow various companies to apply the washable treatment to many different U.S. wool products. It is anticipated the equipment will be at full-production capability by the beginning of 2011. — WLJ