Ausen Sheepskins
About 70% of all Australian sheep are pure breed merinos bred for the production of fine wool. About 25% are of fine to medium crossbred types and 5% coarse crossbred.
The Australian national sheep flock totals approx 160,000,000 head. The principal sheep producing states are New South Wales, South West Australia and Victoria. Approx 20 to 25 million skins are exported annually.
There are three main categories of woolskins: spring lambskins, from lambs which have note been shorn; shorn lambskins, from lambs shorn later in the season; and sheepskins from mature sheep.
Spring lambskins production commences about July/August to reach a peak November/December. The early skins are of wool length 1.5 to 2.0 inches, the 2.0 to 3.0 inch length is produce September through November.
Shorn lambskins come into production about January and continue thereafter in wool lengths starting at 0.5 to 1.0 inches and developing, as the season progresses to 1.5 to 2.5 inches.
Production of mature sheepskins continues all year round but is most prolific in the period November to February when the short wool sheep are slaughtered. Wool lengths from mature sheep vary from under 0.5 inches to 2.0 to 2.5 inches and longer depending upon the time of the season.
Common categories:
Australian meatworks drum salted sheepskins, head trimmed, good/super, 50's & finer, 7.0 sqft & larger, average 8.0/90 sqft per skin, selection 70/20/10 or 80/20/0 i/ii/iii grades, medium/heavily ribbed skins excluded: Available in the following wool lengths: -
a)  Bare to 0.25 inch (6,000 per 20' Container
b). 0.25-0.50 inch (5,000 per 20' Container)
c). 0.50-1.00 inch (4,000 per 20' Container)
d). 1.00-2.00 inch (3,000 per 20' Container)
e). 2.00-3.00 inch (2,400 per 20' Container)
Australian meatworks drum salted lambskins, fully trimmed, good/super, 50/58's, 6.0 sqft & larger average 7.0/7.5 sqft per skin, selection 80/20 or 90/10 i/ii grades: Available in the following wool lengths: -
a). 0.50-1.00 inch (4,500 per 20' Container)
b). 1.00-2.00 inch (3,400 per 20' Container)
c). 2.00-3.00 inch (2,800 per 20' Container)
d). Unshorn 'Spring' Lambskins 1.50-3.00 inch (3,400 per 20' Ctr)
Lambskins are offered in both 'free of visible seed' and 'light seedy' gradings
Pelt Quality:
Grade I:
Good shape, free from flay marks and knife cuts, free from seed. Clean, fresh stock. May include light rib, especially about necks.
Grade II:
May include light rib and skins with occasional neck and/or flank cuts and/or faults. May be slightly asymetrical pattern. May show light belly seed, otherwise free, or practically free, of seed.
Grade III:
May show cuts and/or medium rib and/or light to medium seed or be misshapen but the prime area free from serious defect.
Damaged Grade:
Pelts showing heavy rib and/or seed damage and/or misshapen or otherwise damaged. All extremely badly damaged or inferior pelts excluded.