The sheep are shorn before the warmer months to reduce the chance of heat stroke.
The sheep are "tipped" on their backs which helps them to calm down. This does not in any way harm the animal.
Next the raw wool is separated into different tubs for the 'Suint Fermentation Soak' cleaning process.
In addition to it being extremely labor intensive, cleaning raw fleeces from start to finish is also a smelly experience that is not for the faint of heart -- regardless of which method you use to clean it.
The Science Behind Suint Fermentation-
Throughout their lives, sheep draw potassium chloride into their bodies as they graze. This chemical is commonly referred to as "potash." Sweat on its own is a mix of mostly water, combined with trace amounts of lactic acid, urea, and minerals. Together, a mixture of excess potash combines with their sweat and builds up on their wool. At this point, it becomes
In addition to the suint in a sheep's fleece, there is also a greasy matter called Lanolin, which combines with lime and other earthy matter to create an insoluble soap.