Textile Terms: Wool Gathering

When someone is daydreaming instead of paying attention to the talk at hand, it used to be, and sometimes still is said that the person is “wool gathering” .  How did that saying come about? Most people don’t require any wool at all to do their fanciful thinking.

Henry Herbert La Thangue - Gathering Wool

The answer is simple enough. When sheep are out in their meadows or even in their stalls, they often rub their sides along fences, trees, bushes, and other upright, stable objects, probably to scratch an itch or just because it feels good. In the days when wool was processed by hand, someone in the family that owned the sheep would have to go into the fields to collect the pieces of wool that rubbed off and stuck to the “scratching post.” Waste not, want not, after all. As this is not a very taxing occupation, it’s likely that the wool gatherer would be thinking about all sorts of things.




7 thoughts on “Textile Terms: Wool Gathering

  1. What a great log! I love this post. History, fiber animals, and fun sayings. I’m in! And the art. Love the art too.

    (I live with 5 Artists and 80+ alpacas. This is right up my alley)

  2. Alpaca fiber is used for making knitted and woven items,
    similar to wool.
    These items include blankets, sweaters, hats, gloves,
    scarves, a wide variety
    of textiles and ponchos in South America, and sweaters,
    socks, coats and bedding
    in other parts of the world. The fiber comes in more than 52
    natural colors as
    classified in Peru, 12 as classified in Australia and 16 as
    classified in the United States.

    alpaca farm

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