Find answers to questions we get asked frequently below.
Frequently Asked Questions
A wool classer is responsible for preparing freshly shorn wools for the next stage of processing in a “fit for purpose” state. A wool classer controls the shearing shed in terms of wool preparation and then classes individual fleeces into lines ready for the next stage in the wool process. It is the best and sometimes the last opportunity for a hands on look at the fleece.
Anyone who has an interest in a career with a view to working with a great natural product and a marvelous group of people from a wide cross section of our country. Wool classing is a very useful lead into many other fields of endeavor such as wool broking field rep, merchant rep, the scouring industry, wool exporting, textile manufacturing and the fashion industry at many different levels. Wool is being rediscovered as a great fiber in terms of being bio-degradable and clean & green with many natural traits that cannot be replicated with synthetic fibers.
Some experience in shearing shed work is helpful if you can travel. A shearing contractor is a good place to make a contact. Another way is to contact Wool classers Association Registrar for more detailed advice. You could find someone already working in the industry to set you in the right direction. There is always someone who is very willing to help.
The required qualification is a Certificate in Wool Technology with Southland Institute in Technology. (SIT No Fees.) This is a two-year course run ex- murally by tutors from Massey University. Also consists of two weekly hands on block courses. One in each North & South Island.
There are many areas in the commercial world where the skills and knowledge learnt along the way to becoming a wool classer that are very useful in the larger industry. Be it broker, merchant, scouring, exporting, textile processing or fashion industry. It is always an advantage to know where the wool comes from and the processes wool goes through before it ends up a finished product.
Keeping your NZWCA membership current is considered a professional obligation for NZ classers and graders.
The letter prefix and number which together make the one-off combination that is a registered “Kiwi stencil” is unique and is to be used only by the person it was issued to. A classer/grader can only use this if they keep their NZWCA membership valid.
Invoices are sent out in February each year. If you haven’t received one by then and want to use your stencil this season whilst also contributing to the integrity of the NZ wool industry’s only classer registration system, please message us on this website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have your stencil, and you are wondering why you should keep your membership current, have a read of this (first published in the NZWCA Dec 2021 newsletter):
Specifically, this article: I AM FEELING A BIT GRUMPY! BY DON URQUHART M486
This photo shows us the major problem that the industry has with foreign articles turning up in bales of wool at our local wool scours. No doubt wool shipped greasy will contain the same foreign articles.
In the past this unnecessary problem has caused a number of issues that include damage to wool scour machinery and contamination of wool products going through the manufacturing process. When these contaminates such as clothing, towels or plastic go through to the manufacturing stage it can create financial claims back to the Buyer/Scour.
This is a problem we all can fix by being observant in our workplace and recognising contamination problems before they arise.
All brands are to be removed from wool and kept separate. Last season some branding products were not scourable and created large financial claims and in some cases, wool could not be sold.