Staple: “wool grows on the sheep in definite locks as distinct from the way in which hair grows, for example, in a cat. These locks are the staple, a word which, during our long history, has symbolised the power and dignity of the wool trade. We may be sure that, in whatever setting we may find it, there we shall find some connection with wool. It occurs in place names, cf. Barnstaple, and it has passed into the currency of everyday speech as a synonym for something essential to well-being, when, for example, we speak of bread as a ‘staple’ article of food.”

– Elsie G. Davenport, Your Handspinning, 1971, Select Books, Mountain View, MO, USA.


Picture supplied and used with kind permission by Deborah Robson: wool grows in myriad types, and how it is used depends on what it is like. Delaine Merino (above) is soft enough for almost anyone. Rough Fell (below) is fascinating and versatile, but not wisely employed for the construction of luxury garments.