Department of Animal Science – Ruminants and Dairy Farming, Faculty of Agriculture, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Abstract. The investigation was performed with industrial batches of merino wool originating from Bulgaria (1), Russia (2), Romania (2), Spain (1) and the Czech Republic (1). A total of 16 batches including 7 greasy wool batches, 5 clean wool batches and 4 wool sliver batches. The primary processing of wool batches (classification, washing and carding) was performed using the standard technologies applied at the textile enterprise. After the classification, the relative proportions of types vs the total amount of greasy wool were determined. Washing yields of classified greasy wool batches were established. Clean merino wool batches were submitted to the following laboratory tests: fibre diameter (μm), mean weighted length (mm), short fibre percentage (%), fatness (%), mineral matter content (%), vegetable matter content (%) and moisture (%). The parameters determined on ready wool slivers were as followed: yield (%), fibre diameter (measured with a lanameter, μm), mean weighted length (mm), length В (mm), short fibre percentage (%) and moisture (%).The two Russian wool batches were superior to all other tested batches with respect to high-grade wool content – 96.88% and 96.03%. They consisted exclusively of a single industrial class – grade 64s merino worsted wool (95.94% and 93.95% of batches, respectively). With regard to the relative share of merino worsted wool, the Bulgarian batch (40.98%) came after the Russian (96.88% and 96.03%), Romanian (batch 1) (90.23%) and Spanish wool (57.85%). Russian wool was superior to other batches with respect to washing yield (55.51%), mean weighted length (55.35 mm) and fibre cleanness (it had the lowest mineral (0.99%) and vegetable matter content (1.2%)). There were no considerable differences with respect to yield, mean weighted length and short fibre percentage between Spanish and batch 1 Romanian wool, although the mineral and vegetable matter percentages were significantly higher in Spanish clean wool. The batch from Czech and Bulgarian wool had higher fibre length, lower dustiness and less vegetable matter content than the Spanish batch, but its washing yield was lower. Compared to both Romanian batches, it occupied an intermediate position. The highest yield was established for slivers produced by Russian and Spanish wool – 80.63% and 80.12%. The yields of the other two batches were substantially lower (72.06% for Romanian and 70.54% for the mixed Bulgarian and Czech batch). The highest mean weighted fibre length was determined for slivers made from Russian wool (67.77 mm) whereas the lowest – for slivers produced from mixed Bulgarian and Czech batch (50.83 mm). The studied Russian wool batches were of greatest interest as their technological properties were concerned. Mixed with Bulgarian wool batches, they could be largely used to correct and improve the yield, short fibre length and proportion in clean wool and wool sliver.