Answers to Wool & Hair Fibre Questions: Revision 

Click here to see the questions

Q&ANote these answers are a guide only & there may be other answers. Answers are also given in note form and a more detailed answer will be needed in most cases for full marks

Bronze - a basic level question 

Silver - challenging question aimed at medium/ higher GCSE level

Gold - very challenging question aimed at higher GCSE / A level

Find out about key knowledge needed to help you answer these questions


Question 1 (6 marks)                                           Click here to see the question

  • You are likely to get 2 marks just for naming 2 fibres
  • Most hair fibres can be made into products such as suits, sweaters, scarves & other accessories, furnishings etc. You need to relate these products to the hair fibres you choose to use in your answer. Don’t just keep repeating the same products. 
  • Cashmere - Hair from a goat. The hair is known as pashm or pashmina (which is also the name of shawls made out of cashmere). Fibres are long and finer than wool with less distinctive scales. They are very warm & soft with excellent draping although they are weaker than wool. Also warmer than wool.
  • Mohair - Fleece taken from Angora goat. Curlier hair that is long and lustrous fibres (20-25 cm long), smooth, silky, strong, and durable. Doesn’t felt easily. 
  • Angora - Very fine, light fibre from the Angora rabbit. Soft, lightly crimped. Coarser fibres used in interlinings
  • Alpaca - Llama, vicuna and guanaco are all species of alpaca. Fine fibres, that are soft but hard wearing and strong. Scales on surface of hair are limited making them feel smooth. Lightly crimped with good thermal properties
  • Yak & camel are also hair fibres


Note:

The information above is key knowledge that might be included in the answer. The key to getting a high grade is how you relate the knowledge to the context of the question (i.e. the qualities the fibre gives named textiles products)

Don’t write about all of these hair fibres - you only have to focus on two.


Question 2 (12 marks)                                         Click here to see the question

The list below outlines key knowledge that might be part of the answer:

  • Keywords you might make reference to merino wool, lambswool, woollen, worsted, suiting, spun woollen yarn of knitted products, lanolin, hydrophobic, felting, scales, crimping, Woolmark 
  • Products you might refer to: suits, tailored dresses, coats, sweaters, accessories, blankets, carpets, curtains, furnishing fabrics, industrial filters, fire protection
  • Staple fibre that has a crimp (natural wave). Both of these things mean fabric made of wool trap air making it a warm fibre to wear. These properties also give it a springyness that helps it resist creasing.
  • The fibre have overlapping scales on their surface. These lock into each other when the fabric is washed or heated causing shrinking. This can be used to create felted fabrics (don’t mention the scales in relation to garments shrinking in the wash etc. as the question focuses on the benefits of the fibre and not the pitfalls). Felting can be used to create effective fabric for accessories in particular. 
  • Exterior of the fibre is hydrophobic (resists water) and the inside is hydroscopic (attracts water). This means it resists water well and when it does get wet it can absorb up to 30% of its bulk without feeling wet. This also gives it a low electrostatic charge
  • Natural fire resistant properties and needs a high temperature to ignite. This makes it suitable for use in home products such as furnishings.
  • Wool gives natural UV protection


Note:

The information above is key knowledge that might be included in the answer. The key to getting a high grade is how you relate the knowledge to the context of the question (i.e. the benefits to the consumer and relevant product examples)

To get the highest marks you need to give a detailed and accurate explanation of a number of the properties of wool (4 or 5), saying why consumers would benefit from those properties. Your explanation of each property and the benefits would need to be detailed (at least 2 points to explain each). You would also need to refer to a wide range of wool products (3 or 4). 

As this is a 12 mark question how you lay out your information will be important. Your use of English must be good and sentences must flow. If you choose to use subheadings in any way make sure they flow on from each other rather than information being scattered about. 

Discuss a range of finishes and other developments in wool fibres and fabrics that make wool fabrics more consumer friendly. 


Question 3 (10 marks)                                         Click here to see the question

  • Sportswool - High tech wool that has a unique vapour management system and micro climate control. Helps raise body temperature when it is cold and cools the body when it is warm 
  • Easy care woolDeveloped by The Woolmark Organisation to meet the needs of consumers who want the properties of wool without the hassle of the care. Wool has been developed that is machine washable by blending fibres such as polyester and nylon with wool to create a more stable fibre or by processes such as biopolishing which uses chemical and enzyme treatments to create a smoother wool that is less likely to felt as the scales won’t interlock. 
  • Merino TouchA woven coated fabric made from mercerised Merino yarns that have been woven to create a cashmere like softness and silk like sheen
  • Merino FreshNormal or high twist pure new wool fabric that is treated with a low level of polyurethane polymer to enhance smooth drying. Creates a stain resistant surface that washes easily just by showering fabric in water 
  • UV Control MerinoUV absorbing finish applied to the Merino wool during dyeing or bleaching at either yarn stage, fabric stage or during garment finishing. Can increase sun protection and increase durability to washing.


Note:

The information above is key knowledge that might be included in the answer. The key to getting a high grade is how you relate the knowledge to the context of the question (i.e. high tech developments that make wool more consumer friendly)

To get the highest marks you need to give a detailed and accurate explanation of  a number of developments (3 or 4), saying why they make the fibre more consumer friendly.  

As this is a 10 mark question how you lay out your information will be important. Your use of English must be good and sentences must flow. If you choose to use subheadings in any way make sure they flow on from each other rather than information being scattered about. 


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