8 of 20 stages

Traditional hand shears meet electric competition in the 1950s

8 of 20 stages

8 of 20 Stages of the Evolution of British Wool


Hand shears have traditionally been used for sheep shearing and this technique has not changed since the middle ages.

Electric shears

Sheep shearing is essential for the animals welfare, (with the exception of a few breeds), as they do not shed their own fleece. Blow fly and over heating are the risks to sheep if they are not shorn. Since the electric clippers were invented in the 1950’s there has been much discussion as to which is best for the fleece and the sheep.

sheep shearing with electric shears

The electric clippers offer speed while the hand shears are much quieter, so less stressful for the animals. The hand shears also leave a short layer of wool which gives the sheep some protection from the weather.

Shearers moccasins

I visited a shearing course help by British wool who want to make sure all shearers are trained . I was interested in the welfare of the sheep. I observed that experienced shearers kept the sheep calm and relatively stress free.

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