Microns and Staples and Such
Microns vs. Fiber length vs. Staple Length
(in other words... the technical stuff!)
Confused by all the technical terms surrounding wool fiber? Maybe this will help...
Microns are a unit of measurement to describe the diameter of an individual strand of fiber. A lower micron measurement usually means the wool will be softer to the touch (as is the case with our merino top roving) and a higher micron number usually refers to wool that is more coarse (such as our romney roving.)
Fiber Length is the average length of an individual strand of fiber. Products with longer fiber length (like our corriedale roving) will typically felt up nice and firm. Shorter fiber products (like our maori batting) might end up a little softer. The longer the fiber, the more there is to tangle and get locked into place.
Staple Length is the length of a naturally occurring cluster of fiber as it comes from the animal. When wool has been combed into roving or made into batting, you can see the diameter of the fibers and the fiber length, but "staple length" no longer applies, since the fibers have now been rearranged.
You probably won’t need to know these exact terms when you’re felting, but they can be helpful if you are purchasing wool and want to compare the traits of one type of wool to the traits of another.