An analysis of one thousand South African Merino wool samples selected at random and involving the measurement of a quarter of a million fibres is described and fundamental characteristics are demonstrated. Fibre thickness ranges from 7.5µ to 50µ. The bulk, or eighty per cent. of the fibres measure from 12.5µ to 22.5µ. Eighty per cent. of the samples conform to the quality numbers of 60's to 100's. Eleven per cent. are 120's to 150's and it is suggested that these are " hunger fine " and presumably influenced by adverse conditions of nutrition. Eight per cent. are cross-bred and are coarser than Merino quality numbers.
As regards coefficient of variability, South African Merino wool ranges from 10 per cent. to 32 per cent. Seventy-nine per cent. of the samples conform to a variability of sixteen to twenty-four per cent. coefficient of variability. The coefficient of correlation between fibre finess and coefficient of variability is given as - • 0754 ± • 0217 and indicates an insignificant correlation. The coefficient of correlation between fibre fineness and crimping is given as - • 617 ± • 0226, which shows a definite correlation, though not a high one. Twenty-eight per cent. of the samples show a perfect agreement between the quality numbers of fibre fineness and those of crimps. The woolman who judges fibre fineness on crimps may err in seventy-two per cent. of his judgments by one, two or even three quality numbers.
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