Food & Farming

Photo Blog: Skirting the Issue


DIGHTON, Mass. — On June 2, one day after Bristol County Agricultural High School sheared its flock, the school and the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) held a free public workshop on skirting, the process of removing low-grade wool, stains and vegetable matter from fleece before it’s processed.

Sheep in Jakets
John Folds wool
John Buffington demonstrates how the wool is folded after skirting. The folded wool will be collected by Maine-based Bartlettyarns for processing.
Wool on Floor
The skirted bits of wool are sent to the compost pile.
Family skirts wool
Mark, left, raises goats and chickens in North Dartmouth, Mass. He brought Tyler, 12, Travis, 9, and Madison, 10, to Bristol Aggie to learn about skirting.
Skirting the wool
The wool at the skirting workshop was mostly from Romeldale/California Variegated Mutant (CVM) sheep, which were previously endangered. The breed is now listed as critical and has rebounded due to farmers breeding and promoting the animals. CVM wool is prized for its fineness.
Family skirting wool
Raschel Guy of Fall River, Mass., skirts wool with her daughters Madison, 11, and Paige, 7.


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