While the main focus in the breeding of Texel sheep in New Zealand has been selection for superior meat production there are significant qualities in the wool which make it a highly desirable fibre. Texel, Texel X Romney and Romney wools are evaluated to determine their relative attributes as textile fibres in wool products where good length and high bulk are considered important. Evaluation involved examining the value of good length bulk wool in the current wool market, spinning semi-worsted yarns, manufacturing carpets and sample bedding products. All three lines performed as expected from the measured fibre characteristics. Core bulk of the scoured wool for Texel, Texel X Romney and the Romney were respectively 32.9 cm3/g, 29 cm3/g and 25.7 cm3/g. Based on an average market value of 450 c/kg clean and 1991/92 relativities, the premium for bulk of these long good colour wools is 10 c/kg/unit. The high bulk wools gave improved spinning performance 44.4 52.9 and 73.3 end breaks per 100 spindle hours at 5000-6000 rpm for the Texel, Texel X Romney and Romney lines respectively. Improved abrasion resistance of carpet made from the Texel and Texel-cross was attributable to different pile weight and yarn bulk values. Samples evaluated indicate Texel sheep produce wools with similar textile properties to New Zealand crossbred wools but with higher bulk. The Texel breed should be monitored for its suitability as a source of genetic material to increase bulk in New Zealand wools. Lack of quantitative knowledge of the change in fleece weight and carcass returns from the introduction of the Texel genetic influence into Romney stock prevents assessment of their economic benefit to the New Zealand farmer.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 53, , 263-266, 1993
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