Only Commercial Wool Lab In The Country Opens In Utah
Wool is a soft material from sheep that can be used to make socks, rugs, and even shoes. But in order to ensure the quality of these are good, wool needs to be tested before it goes through production.
Wool testing takes a look at samples of wool and breaks them into different grades based off of the fiber diameter, vegetable matter, strength, length, and color.
Up until recently, if a rancher wanted their wool tested, they would need to send it overseas to testing facilities in places like New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Albert Wilde is the cofounder of Wasatch Labs, the new wool testing lab in Midvale.
“It's the only commercial wool lab in the country right now. So basically, any sheep rancher across the country, looking to market, their wool, will now have that option. They can still send it overseas, if they want, but at least they have an option to keep it right here in the U.S.”
Wilde is a farmer himself, raising around 3,000 sheep on his farm M.R. Wilde and Sons. He personally has delt with the overseas shipping costs associated with testing his wool.
“For us as a farm, an extra $1,000 to send that wool, affects our bottom line. As prices increase, it's nice to know they can stay down or be reduced.”
Having this facility in Utah can help Utah infrastructure by creating jobs and people from all over the United
States can ship their wool here. Wilde adds, Utah is a great place for this.
“Utah is like the fourth largest wool producing state in the country. The Utah wool marketing co-op is here in Tooele, and it's one of the largest wool marketing places in the country, so, it's kind of a natural fit that way for the state of Utah.”
Texas is also working on opening their own commercial wool lab as well.