The Merino is the most economically influential breed of sheep in the world, prized for its wool. Super fine Merinos are regarded as having the finest and softest wool of any sheep. Recently the low price of wool has led to more emphasis on the market and sale of the animal's meat. Poll Merinos have no horns (or very small stubs, known as scurs), and horned Merino rams have long, spiral horns which grow close to the head.

Merino wool is finely crimped and soft. Staples are commonly 2.5–4 inches (65–100 mm) long. A Saxon Merino produces 3 to 6 kg of greasy wool a year while a good quality Peppin Merino ram produces up to 18 kg. Merino wool is generally less than 24 micron (µm) in diameter. Basic Merino types include: strong (broad) wool 23-24.5 µm, medium wool is 19.6-22.9 µm, fine 18.6-19.5 µm, superfine 15-18.5 µm and ultra fine 11.5-15 µm. Ultra fine wool is suitable for blending with other exclusive fibres such as silk and cashmere.



Karakul or QaraQul (Persian: قراقل; from Karakul, meaning "black lake" in several Turkic languages) is a breed of domestic sheep which originated in Central Asia. Some archaeological evidence points to Karakul sheep being raised there continuously since 1400 BC.

Karakul sheep are renowned for their ability to forage and thrive under extremely harsh living conditions. Karakul are also raised in large numbers in Namibia, Africa, having first been brought there by German colonists in the early 20th century.

Karakul sheep are a multi-purpose breed, kept for milking, meat, pelts, and wool. As a fat-tailed breed, they have a distinctive meat. Many adult Karakul are double-coated; in this case, people separate the coarse guard hair from the undercoat. Karakul is relatively coarse fiber used for outer garment, carpets and for felting.



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