The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
F206 Wool specimen, ewe over 1.5 years, bred by J L Currie and Company, Larra, Victoria, Australia, 1888. Click to enlarge.

Wool specimen from a ewe over 1.5 years

The wool collection held by the Powerhouse Museum contains thousands of wool samples collected between 1804 and 2003. These samples provide a record of wool growing in Australia. The different fleeces reflect the breeding programs and environmental conditions under which the fleeces were grown and, as such, they provide a valuable history of the areas of Australia in which sheep were grazed.

Sheep were introduced into Australia in 1788 from Cape Town in South Africa. Since then sheep from …


Object No.


Object Statement

Wool specimen, ewe over 1.5 years, bred by J L Currie and Company, Larra, Victoria, Australia, 1888

Physical Description

Wool specimen, ewe over 1.5 years, bred by J L Currie and Company, Larra, Victoria, Australia, 1888

Wool specimen from a ewe over 1.5 years. There is pink tape tied around the middle of the specimen and a small green tag attached to the tape.

This sample of wool was tested in June 2007 by the Interactive Wool Group. They used the OFDA2000 instrument for fleece testing. The following are the results for this specimen:

Microns: 18.4 microns (2.9 Standard Deviation)
(average fibre diameter)

Staple length: 80 mm

Mean fibre curvature: 124.7 Dg/mm
(A measurement in degrees
per mm related to
crimp frequency)

Comfort Factor: 99.7 %
(The % of fibres equal
to or less than 30 microns)


Text on the green tag reads '206 / Ewes / Over 1 1/2 yrs' and on reverse 'J L Currie / Lara / Vic'.



120 mm


40 mm



The wool was produced between 1888 by J L Currie and Company in Larra, Victoria, Australia.



In 1890 Alfred Hawkesworth, honorary wool-classer to the Museum, noted the following about this specimen which was entered in the Centennial International Exhibition Melbourne 1888-9:

Competition for the most valuable fleeces of ewes wool, unskirted, over 1 ½ years old, which has been previously shorn:
This specimen is of great length of staple, very close, well proportioned, showy, kind, silky, and lustrous wool; the fibre is pure, sound, grandly serrated and elastic; condition perfect; will give full weight in top. Spinning quality 90s, value 15 ½ d per lb. (Alfred Hawkesworth's valuation).

This class, for cutting the most valuable fleeces, contained most interesting and numerous collection from the principal Colonies, representing that type of wool termed useful and profitable, ie a great weight of fleece per sheep, at a medium price. These exhibits are grown in many varied climates, and in almost every condition under which sheep farming is carried on in these Colonies. Messrs Currie and Co placed third by a most attractive, stylish well bred wool, 364 days growth. This class of combing is a great favourite with the users, a type that has placed Western Victoria in the most favoured position. This wool has the distinction of having the highest value per lb in this class, which is only 2d per lb less than the washed Grand Champion entry from Ercildoune.

Alfred Hawkesworth, Technological Museum, Sydney, Descriptive Catalogue No 1. Raw wools and specimens to illustrate the woollen manufacture. Sydney Government Printer. 1890

Originally donated by J L Currie and Co, Victoria, Australia, 1889.

This wool specimen is part of the Bill Montgomery Wool Collection which consists of approximately 7000 samples. In the older part of the collection there are 5000 samples from Australian sheep fleeces grown between 1856 and 1906. The samples were collected by the Museum at a time when scientific research was prominent in the Museum's activities. In 1979, when the Museum's focus changed, most of its wool collection was transferred to the teaching collection of Mr Bill Montgomery, a wool classing teacher at Newcastle Technical College. When Bill retired from the College, the collection was again in danger of being thrown away. He took the entire collection home and stored it in his garage for 15 years. His Collection also contains approximately 1500 wool samples grown between 1950 and 2000 and collected by Bill himself. It includes 147 examples of faults and stains occurring in Australian flocks, 20 pigmented wools and 33 rare and extinct breeds from around the world. The Museum purchased the entire collection in 2003. Bill Montgomery died on 7th July, 2007.


Credit Line

Purchased 2003 (originally gift of the J L Currie and Company, 1889)

Acquisition Date

30 March 2003

Cite this Object


Wool specimen from a ewe over 1.5 years 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 9 February 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Wool specimen from a ewe over 1.5 years |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=9 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}