Wool grease

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Wool fibers with natural grease


A fatty, pale yellow solid that coats the fibers of a sheep's wool. Raw wool contains about 20% grease and 12% Suint. Wool grease, or wax, is separated from the suint, or salts, by a solvent cleaning procedure. The wax contains a mixture of esters and alcohols, including Cholesterol and isocholesterol. It emulsifies with water and can take up to about 80% of its weight in water. Wool wax is used for ointments, emollients, soaps, and dressing leather and furs. Purified wool wax is called Lanolin.

Wool fibers after removal of grease

Synonyms and Related Terms

gras de la lana (Esp.); wool wax; wool fat; lanolin; degras


Properties of Natural Waxes

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • J.Gordon Cook, Handbook of Textile Fibres:I Natural Fibres, Merrow Publishing Co. , Durham, England, 1984
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998