Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939. Republicans loyal to the left-leaning Second Spanish Republic, in alliance with the Anarchists and Communists, fought against the Nationalists, an alliance of Falangists and Catholics, led by General Francisco Franco. Due to the international political climate at the time, the war had many facets, different views saw it as class struggle, a war of religion, a struggle between dictatorship and republican democracy, between revolution and counterrevolution, between fascism and communism; the Nationalists won the war in early 1939 and ruled Spain until Franco's death in November 1975. The war began after a pronunciamiento against the Republican government by a group of generals of the Spanish Republican Armed Forces under the leadership of José Sanjurjo; the government at the time was a moderate, liberal coalition of Republicans, supported in the Cortes by communist and socialist parties, under the leadership of centre-left President Manuel Azaña.
The Nationalist group was supported by a number of conservative groups, including the Spanish Confederation of Autonomous Right-wing Groups, including both the opposing sides of Alfonsists and the religious conservative Carlists, the Falange Española de las Juntas de Ofensiva Nacional Sindicalista, a fascist political party. Sanjurjo was killed in an aircraft accident while attempting to return from exile in Portugal, whereupon Franco emerged as the leader of the Nationalists; the coup was supported by military units in the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, Burgos, Valladolid, Cádiz, Córdoba, Seville. However, rebelling units in some important cities—such as Madrid, Valencia, Málaga—did not gain control, those cities remained under the control of the government. Spain was thus left militarily and politically divided; the Nationalists and the Republican government fought for control of the country. The Nationalist forces received munitions and air support from Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, while the Republican side received support from the Soviet Union and Mexico.
Other countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, continued to recognise the Republican government, but followed an official policy of non-intervention. Notwithstanding this policy, tens of thousands of citizens from non-interventionist countries directly participated in the conflict, they fought in the pro-Republican International Brigades, which included several thousand exiles from pro-Nationalist regimes. The Nationalists advanced from their strongholds in the south and west, capturing most of Spain's northern coastline in 1937, they besieged Madrid and the area to its south and west for much of the war. After much of Catalonia was captured in 1938 and 1939, Madrid cut off from Barcelona, the Republican military position became hopeless. Madrid and Barcelona were occupied without resistance, Franco declared victory and his regime received diplomatic recognition from all non-interventionist governments. Thousands of leftist Spaniards fled to refugee camps in southern France.
Those associated with the losing Republicans were persecuted by the victorious Nationalists. With the establishment of a dictatorship led by General Franco in the aftermath of the war, all right-wing parties were fused into the structure of the Franco regime; the war became notable for the passion and political division it inspired and for the many atrocities that occurred, on both sides. Organised purges occurred in territory captured by Franco's forces so they could consolidate their future regime. A significant number of killings took place in areas controlled by the Republicans; the extent to which Republican authorities took part in killings in Republican territory varied. The 19th century was a turbulent time for Spain; those in favour of reforming Spain's government vied for political power with conservatives, who tried to prevent reforms from taking place. Some liberals, in a tradition that had started with the Spanish Constitution of 1812, sought to limit the power of the monarchy of Spain and to establish a liberal state.
The reforms of 1812 did not last after King Ferdinand VII dissolved the Constitution and ended the Trienio Liberal government. Twelve successful coups were carried out between 1814 and 1874; until the 1850s, the economy of Spain was based on agriculture. There was little development of a bourgeois commercial class; the land-based oligarchy remained powerful. In 1868 popular uprisings led to the overthrow of Queen Isabella II of the House of Bourbon. Two distinct factors led to the uprisings: a series of urban riots and a liberal movement within the middle classes and the military concerned with the ultra-conservatism of the monarchy. In 1873 Isabella's replacement, King Amadeo I of the House of Savoy, abdicated owing to increasing political pressure, the short-lived First Spanish Republic was proclaimed. After the restoration of the Bourbons in December 1874, Carlists and Anarchists emerged in opposition to the monarchy. Alejandro Lerroux, Spanish politician and leader of the Radical Republican Party, helped bring republicanism to the fore in Catalonia, where poverty was acute.
Growing resentment of conscription and of the military culminated in the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909. Spain was neutral in World War I. Following the war, the working class, industrial class, military united in hopes of removing the corrupt central government, but were unsuc
Tarragona is a port city located in northeast Spain on the Costa Daurada by the Mediterranean Sea. Founded before the 5th century BC, it is the capital of the Province of Tarragona, part of Tarragonès and Catalonia. Geographically, it is bordered on the north by the Province of Lleida; the city has a population of 201,199. One Catalan legend holds that it was named for Tarraho, eldest son of Tubal in c. 2407 BC. The real founding date of Tarragona is unknown; the city may have begun as an Iberic town called Kesse or Kosse, named for the Iberic tribe of the region, the Cossetans, though the identification of Tarragona with Kesse is not certain. William Smith suggests that the city was founded by the Phoenicians, who called it Tarchon, according to Samuel Bochart, means a citadel; this name was derived from its situation on a high rock, between 75–90 m above the sea. It was seated on the river Sulcis or Tulcis, on a bay of the Mare Internum, between the Pyrenees and the river Iberus. Livy mentions a portus Tarraconis.
This better reflects its present condition. During the Roman Republic, the city was fortified and much enlarged as a Roman colony by the brothers Publius Cornelius Scipio and Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, who converted it into a fortress and arsenal against the Carthaginians; the city was first named Colonia Iulia Urbs Triumphalis Tarraco and was capital of the province of Hispania Citerior. Subsequently, it became the capital of the province named after it, Hispania Tarraconensis, in the Roman Empire and conventus iuridicus. Augustus wintered at Tarraco after his Cantabrian campaign, bestowed many marks of honour on the city, among which were its honorary titles of Colonia Victrix Togata and Colonia Julia Victrix Tarraconensis. Tarraco lies on the main road along the southeastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. According to Mela it was the richest town on that coast, Strabo represents its population as equal to that of Carthago Nova, its fertile plain and sunny shores are celebrated by other poets.
The city minted coins. An inscribed stone base for a now lost statue of Tiberius Claudius Candidus was found in Tarragona during the nineteenth century; the 24-line Latin inscription describes the Governor and Senator's career as an ally of the future Roman emperor Septimius Severus, who fought in the civil war following the assassination of Commodus in 192 AD. This important marble block was purchased by the British Museum in 1994. After the demise of the Western Roman Empire, it was captured first by the Vandals and by the Visigoths; the Visigothic Kingdom's rule of Tarracona was ended by the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in 714. It was an important border city of the Caliphate of Córdoba between 750 and 1013. After the demise of the Caliphate, it was part of the Taifa of Zaragoza between 1013 and 1110 and under the control of the Almoravid dynasty between 1110 and 1117, it was taken by the County of Barcelona in 1117. After the dynastic union of Aragon and Barcelona, it was part of the Kingdom of Aragon from 1164-1412.
After dynastic union of Aragon and the Crown of Castile, it remained a part of Aragon until the foundation of the Spanish Empire in 1516. During the Catalan revolt, Tarragon was captured by Catalan insurgents with French support in 1641, but it was retaken by Spanish troops in 1644, it was captured by allied Portuguese and British troops in 1705 during the War of the Spanish Succession and remained in their hands until Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During the war, the Catalans supported the unsuccessful claim of Archduke Charles, Duke of Teschen against the victorious Bourbon Duke of Anjou, became Philip V of Spain, he signed the Nueva Planta decrees, which abolished the Crown of Aragon and all remaining Catalan institutions and prohibited the administrative use of Catalan language on 16 January 1716. During the Peninsular War, in the first siege of Tarragona from 5 May to 29 June 1811, Louis-Gabriel Suchet's Army of Aragon of the First French Empire laid siege to a Spanish garrison led by Lieutenant general Juan Senen de Contreras.
A British naval squadron commanded by Admiral Edward Codrington harassed the French besiegers with cannon fire and transported large numbers of reinforcements into the city by sea. Suchet's troops stormed into the defenses and killed or captured all the defenders, it became a subprefecture center in Bouches-de-l'Èbre department of French empire. In the second siege of Tarragona, an overwhelming Anglo-Spanish force under the command of Lieutenant General John Murray, 8th Baronet failed to wrest Tarragona from a small Franco-Italian garrison led by Brigadier general Antoine Marc Augustin Bertoletti. Murray was subsequently removed from command for his contradictory leadership; the Anglo-Spanish forces captured Tarragona on 19 August. During the Spanish Civil War, Tarragona was in the hands of the Second Spanish Republi
Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populous, the second largest autonomous community in the country; the Andalusian autonomous community is recognised as a "historical nationality". The territory is divided into eight provinces: Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville, its capital is the city of Seville. Andalusia is located in the south of the Iberian peninsula, in south-western Europe south of the autonomous communities of Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha. Andalusia is the only European region with both Atlantic coastlines; the small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. The main mountain ranges of Andalusia are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, consisting of the Subbaetic and Penibaetic Mountains, separated by the Intrabaetic Basin. In the north, the Sierra Morena separates Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha on Spain's Meseta Central.
To the south the geographic subregion of Upper Andalusia lies within the Baetic System, while Lower Andalusia is in the Baetic Depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. The name "Andalusia" is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus; the toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia. These coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Arabic; the etymology of the name "al-Andalus" has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals. Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts, in 2002, Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate; the region's history and culture have been influenced by the native Iberians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Jews, Muslim Moors and the Castilian and other Christian North Iberian nationalities who reconquered and settled the area in the latter phases of the Reconquista. Andalusia has been a agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe.
However, the growth of the community in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain and higher than many communities in the Eurozone. The region has a strong identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are or Andalusian in origin; these include flamenco and, to a lesser extent and Hispano-Moorish architectural styles, both of which are prevalent in other regions of Spain. Andalusia's hinterland is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba and Seville averaging above 36 °C in summer high temperatures. Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C until close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C common. Seville has the highest average annual temperature in mainland Spain and mainland Europe followed by Almería, its present form is derived from the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia, "Al-Andalus". However, the etymology of the name "Al-Andalus" is disputed, the extent of Iberian territory encompassed by the name has changed over the centuries.
The Spanish place name Andalucía was introduced into the Spanish languages in the 13th century under the form el Andalucía. The name was adopted to refer to those territories still under Moorish rule, south of Castilla Nueva and Valencia, corresponding with the former Roman province hitherto called Baetica in Latin sources; this was a Castilianization of Al-Andalusiya, the adjectival form of the Arabic language al-Andalus, the name given by the Arabs to all of the Iberian territories under Muslim rule from 711 to 1492. The etymology of al-Andalus is itself somewhat debated, but in fact it entered the Arabic language before this area came under Muslim rule. Like the Arabic term al-Andalus, in historical contexts the Spanish term Andalucía or the English term Andalusia do not refer to the exact territory designated by these terms today; the term referred to territories under Muslim control. In the Estoria de España of Alfonso X of Castile, written in the second half of the 13th century, the term Andalucía is used with three different meanings: As a literal translation of the Arabic al-Ándalus when Arabic texts are quoted.
To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley and in the Kingdoms of Granada and Murcia. In a document from 1253, Alfonso X styled himself León y de toda Andalucía. To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley but not the Kingdom of Granada; this was the most common significance in Early modern period. From an administrative point of view, Granada remained separate for many years after the completion of the Reconquista due, above all, to its emblematic character as the last territory regained, as the seat of the important Real Chancillería de Granada, a court of last resort. Stil
Provinces of Spain
Spain and its autonomous communities are divided into fifty provinces. Spain's provincial system was recognized in its 1978 constitution but its origin dates back to 1833. Ceuta and the Plazas de soberanía are not part of any provinces; the layout of Spain's provinces follows the pattern of the territorial division of the country carried out in 1833. The only major change of provincial borders since that time has been the subdivision of the Canary Islands into two provinces rather than one; the provinces served as transmission belts for policies enacted in Madrid, as Spain was a centralised state for most of its modern history. The importance of the provinces has declined since the adoption of the system of autonomous communities in the period of the Spanish transition to democracy, they remain electoral districts for national elections and as geographical references: for instance in postal addresses and telephone codes. A small town would be identified as being in, Valladolid province rather than the autonomous community of Castile and León.
The provinces were the "building-blocks". No province is divided between more than one of these communities. Most of the provinces—with the exception of Álava, Biscay, Guipúzcoa, Balearic Islands, La Rioja, Navarra — are named after their principal town. Only two capitals of autonomous communities — Mérida in Extremadura and Santiago de Compostela in Galicia — are not the capitals of provinces. Seven of the autonomous communities comprise no more than one province each: Asturias, Balearic Islands, Cantabria, La Rioja, Madrid and Navarra; these are sometimes referred to as "uniprovincial" communities. The table below lists the provinces of Spain. For each, the capital city is given, together with an indication of the autonomous community to which it belongs and a link to a list of municipalities in the province; the names of the provinces and their capitals are ordered alphabetically according to the form in which they appear in the main Wikipedia articles describing them. Unless otherwise indicated, their Spanish language names are the same.
List of Spanish provinces by population List of Spanish provinces by area Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces Autonomous communities of Spain Comarcas of Spain ISO 3166-2:ESGeneral: Political divisions of Spain Maps of the provinces of Spain Maps of Spain's Provinces List of municipalities of Spain listed by province from the Spanish INE
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding; the related words "fabric" and "cloth" and "material" are used in textile assembly trades as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialized usage. A textile is any material made of interlacing fibres, including carpeting and geotextiles. A fabric is a material made through weaving, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in production of further goods. Cloth may be used synonymously with fabric but is a piece of fabric, processed; the word'textile' is from Latin, from the adjective textilis, meaning'woven', from textus, the past participle of the verb texere,'to weave'. The word'fabric' derives from Latin, most from the Middle French fabrique, or'building, thing made', earlier as the Latin fabrica'workshop.
The word'cloth' derives from the Old English clað, meaning a cloth, woven or felted material to wrap around one, from Proto-Germanic kalithaz. The first clothes, worn at least 70,000 years ago and much earlier, were made of animal skins and helped protect early humans from the ice ages. At some point people learned to weave plant fibers into textiles; the discovery of dyed flax fibres in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dated to 34,000 BCE suggests textile-like materials were made in prehistoric times. The production of textiles is a craft whose speed and scale of production has been altered beyond recognition by industrialization and the introduction of modern manufacturing techniques. However, for the main types of textiles, plain weave, twill, or satin weave, there is little difference between the ancient and modern methods. Textiles have an assortment of uses, the most common of which are for clothing and for containers such as bags and baskets. In the household they are used in carpeting, upholstered furnishings, window shades, coverings for tables and other flat surfaces, in art.
In the workplace they are used in scientific processes such as filtering. Miscellaneous uses include flags, tents, handkerchiefs, cleaning rags, transportation devices such as balloons, kites and parachutes. Textiles are used in many traditional crafts such as sewing and embroidery. Textiles for industrial purposes, chosen for characteristics other than their appearance, are referred to as technical textiles. Technical textiles include textile structures for automotive applications, medical textiles, agrotextiles, protective clothing. In all these applications stringent performance requirements must be met. Woven of threads coated with zinc oxide nanowires, laboratory fabric has been shown capable of "self-powering nanosystems" using vibrations created by everyday actions like wind or body movements. Textiles are made from many materials, with four main sources: animal, plant and synthetic; the first three are natural. In the 20th century, they were supplemented by artificial fibres made from petroleum.
Textiles are made in various strengths and degrees of durability, from the finest microfibre made of strands thinner than one denier to the sturdiest canvas. Textile manufacturing terminology has a wealth of descriptive terms, from light gauze-like gossamer to heavy grosgrain cloth and beyond. Animal textiles are made from hair, skin or silk. Wool refers to the hair of the domestic sheep or goat, distinguished from other types of animal hair in that the individual strands are coated with scales and crimped, the wool as a whole is coated with a wax mixture known as lanolin, waterproof and dirtproof. Woollen refers to a bulkier yarn produced from carded, non-parallel fibre, while worsted refers to a finer yarn spun from longer fibres which have been combed to be parallel. Wool is used for warm clothing. Cashmere, the hair of the Indian cashmere goat, mohair, the hair of the North African angora goat, are types of wool known for their softness. Other animal textiles which are made from hair or fur are alpaca wool, vicuña wool, llama wool, camel hair used in the production of coats, ponchos and other warm coverings.
Angora refers to the long, soft hair of the angora rabbit. Qiviut is the fine inner wool of the muskox. Wadmal is a coarse cloth made of wool, produced in Scandinavia 1000~1500 CE. Sea silk is an fine and valuable fabric, made from the silky filaments or byssus secreted by a gland in the foot of pen shells. Silk is an animal textile made from the fibres of the cocoon of the Chinese silkworm, spun into a smooth fabric prized for its softness. There are two main ty
Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and other animals, including cashmere and mohair from goats, qiviut from muskoxen, from hide and fur clothing from bison, angora from rabbits, other types of wool from camelids. Wool consists of protein together with a few percent lipids. In this regard it is chemically quite distinct from the more dominant textile, cellulose. Wool is produced by follicles; these follicles are located in the upper layer of the skin called the epidermis and push down into the second skin layer called the dermis as the wool fibers grow. Follicles can be classed as either secondary follicles. Primary follicles produce three types of fiber: kemp, medullated fibers, true wool fibers. Secondary follicles only produce true wool fibers. Medullated fibers share nearly identical characteristics to hair and are long but lack crimp and elasticity. Kemp fibers are coarse and shed out. Wool's scaling and crimp make it easier to spin the fleece by helping the individual fibers attach to each other, so they stay together.
Because of the crimp, wool fabrics have greater bulk than other textiles, they hold air, which causes the fabric to retain heat. Wool has a high specific thermal resistance, so it impedes heat transfer in general; this effect has benefited desert peoples, as Tuaregs use wool clothes for insulation. Felting of wool occurs upon hammering or other mechanical agitation as the microscopic barbs on the surface of wool fibers hook together. Wool has several qualities that distinguish it from hair/fur: it is crimped and elastic; the amount of crimp corresponds to the fineness of the wool fibers. A fine wool like Merino may have up to 100 crimps per inch, while coarser wool like karakul may have as few as one or two. In contrast, hair has little if any scale and no crimp, little ability to bind into yarn. On sheep, the hair part of the fleece is called kemp; the relative amounts of kemp to wool vary from breed to breed and make some fleeces more desirable for spinning, felting, or carding into batts for quilts or other insulating products, including the famous tweed cloth of Scotland.
Wool fibers absorb moisture, but are not hollow. Wool can absorb one-third of its own weight in water. Wool absorbs sound like many other fabrics, it is a creamy white color, although some breeds of sheep produce natural colors, such as black, brown and random mixes. Wool ignites at a higher temperature than some synthetic fibers, it has a lower rate of flame spread, a lower rate of heat release, a lower heat of combustion, does not melt or drip. Wool carpets are specified for high safety environments, such as trains and aircraft. Wool is specified for garments for firefighters and others in occupations where they are exposed to the likelihood of fire. Wool causes an allergic reaction in some people. Sheep shearing is the process. After shearing, the wool is separated into four main categories: fleece, broken and locks; the quality of fleeces is determined by a technique known as wool classing, whereby a qualified person, called a wool classer, groups wools of similar gradings together to maximize the return for the farmer or sheep owner.
In Australia before being auctioned, all Merino fleece wool is objectively measured for micron, staple length, staple strength, sometimes color and comfort factor. Wool straight off a sheep, known as "greasy wool" or "wool in the grease", contains a high level of valuable lanolin, as well as the sheep's dead skin and sweat residue, also contains pesticides and vegetable matter from the animal's environment. Before the wool can be used for commercial purposes, it must be scoured, a process of cleaning the greasy wool. Scouring may be as simple as a bath in warm water or as complicated as an industrial process using detergent and alkali in specialized equipment. In north west England, special potash pits were constructed to produce potash used in the manufacture of a soft soap for scouring locally produced white wool. In commercial wool, vegetable matter is removed by chemical carbonization. In less-processed wools, vegetable matter may be removed by hand and some of the lanolin left intact through the use of gentler detergents.
This semigrease wool can be worked into yarn and knitted into water-resistant mittens or sweaters, such as those of the Aran Island fishermen. Lanolin removed from wool is used in cosmetic products, such as hand creams. Raw wool has many impurities; the sheep's body yields many types of wool with differing strengths, length of staple and impurities. The raw wool is processed into'top'.'Worsted top' requires strong straight and parallel fibres. The quality of wool is determined by its fiber diameter, yield and staple strength. Fiber diameter is the single most important wool characteristic determining price. Merino wool is 3–5 inches in length and is fine; the finest and most valuable wool comes from Merino hoggets. Wool taken from sheep produced for meat is more coarse, has fibers 1.5 to 6 in in length. Damage or breaks in the wool can occur if the sheep is stressed whil