Wool, a forgotten treasure ...
properties of sheep wool
contains antibacterial lanolin
coarse wool fibres activate the blood circulation
Properties that determine the value of sheep.
In South Tyrol about 8000 lambs and 2000 fawns are slaughtered annually.
Intestines are used as casing material in the processing of sausages.
Skins are processed into leather. They have a very thin structure and are therefore used for clothing, light footwear, gloves or bags.
Sheep’s eyes were used in the Middle Ages in medicine and in magical potions.
Lanolin is the name given to the fat extracted from wool. It is used in the manufacture of creams and emulsions, as it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
Sweat wool (unwashed wool) is used to protect young trees from roe deer.
Lanolin is furthermore used as lubricating grease and in water-based paints. It does not become rancid.
Sheep can withstand considerable differences in temperature and rainfall.
The main task of sheep today is landscape maintenance of high and steep mountain pastures, dams and areas next to motorways.
Due to their low weight, their dexterity and their adaptability, sheep can compact the soil without damaging the vegetation, thus preventing erosion and staircases. Well grazed slopes are also less prone to avalanches compared to slopes with high grass growth.
Sheep dung improves the soil, increases yields and is particularly suitable for root crops, vegetables, and rape. In developing countries, it is also used as a building material, fuel and biogas production.
The use of sheep for landscape management promotes biodiversity in the Alpine region.
Small local companies create jobs in the countryside.
Sheep are part of the typical South Tyrolean mountain landscape.
Sheep are one of the first animals to be domesticated and were for a long time of great importance to the people of the Alpine region.
Transhumance is a tradition that has been practiced for thousands of years. It describes the migration of sheep from their winter stables to their high summer pastures. In the Schnals Valley, the route leads over the Hochjoch, across a national border and a glacier into the Ötztal.
WOOL IN SOUTH TYROL
According to a study from 2015, out of a yearly yield of 150 tons of wool, only about 100 tons are used and 50 tons are leftover.
30 tons get produced into traditional products
60 tons get exported for insulating material production
10 - 20 tons are processed into pellets and mulch mats
40 - 50 tons remain unused and must be disposed
COMMON USES OF THE WOOL
in the textile industry
for the production of traditional products
for plant protection as mulch mats or pellets
as slope stabilizer
as insulating material
for the production of beds as carpets and textile furniture
as well as for noise protection panels
In the past, sheep were kept for wool and meat production. One kilo of wool was worth one kilo of cheese. Today, the yield of wool does not even pay the shearing.
Influences on the sheep's wool.