What's in a name? Weights of fleeces

12 October, 2015 - 15:21 | Lara Pollard-Jones

Fleece has always played an important part in farming, and the wool trade is currently relatively strong after a lengthy depression.  Just as there are specific words for counting sheep (Yan, tan, tethera, etc) there are also words that are used for counting weights of fleece.  These are no longer used today but were vitally important when farmers were selling their fleeces.  7lbs of fleece is a clove, two cloves are a stone.  Two stones are a tod, six and a half tods are a wey.  Two weys are a sack and 12 sacks are a last.

Clove

Stone (two cloves)

Tod (two stones)

Wey (six and a half tods)

Sack (two weys)

Last (twelve sacks)

7lbs

14lbs

28lbs

182lbs

364lbs

4368lbs

3.2kg

6.4kg

12.7kg

82.5kg

165kg

1,981kg

The British Wool Board uses wool sheets, which contain around 50-60kg of fleece on average, though considerably more if filled completely with Blue-faced Leicester or Teeswater, which are very dense!  In the mill we deal in kilograms, but we do also use sacks to generalise weights.  In our terms one of our sacks weighs up to 20kg; not to be confused with its 165kg counterpart!

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