Vegetable Matter - Some fiber producers use a shopvac to get rid of excessive vegetation prior to shearing (avoid using a blower). Shaking the blanket lightly over a mesh table will help remove some contaminants. Remove by hand what you can. While a small amount of vegetation is acceptable, some fleeces are so matted with seeds, thistles, burrs, etc. that no amount of skirting and cleaning will make the fiber useable.
Tenderness In The Staple - This condition is characterized by a weakness in a portion of the staple. Fiber affected by this problem should be kept separate and clearly labled as 'tender'. As the effected fibers cause weak and uneven yarns, Legacy Lane offers a variety of alternative options for tender fibers. Tenderness in the staple can be caused by illness, stress, changes in feeding, birthing, or weather conditions. To check for tenderness, tightly stretch a staple between two fingers, put it close to your ear and try to break it. If the staple breaks easily with a 'crackling' noise then the fiber is tender. All staples should be equally strong throughout their length.