I had an e-mail last week from the Wool Testing Authority (Europe) in North Wales. They had sent me the histograms (Oh yes people, I know what a histogram is!) of the fleece samples that I had sent them about a week earlier. I was eager to see Qjori's results in particular. He is, after all, a major part of the future of the Mighty Patou.
I was at work when the e-mail arrived, my Backberry quivered in my pocket as I sat at a desk doing something. Ooooh an e-mail, I exclaimed reaching for the shiny black phone (I am always quite excited when I receive an e-mail, I have no idea how this whole internet/e-mail/telephone thing works so there is always a bit of a WOW factor in it for me).
Anyway, the e-mail was from the WTA(E) which heightened my excitement. I downloaded the certificates (Oh yes, I can download as well as a carry out a myriad of other functions) and the first one was Qjori's results.
By now I was standing up and trembling slightly. This was the big one. There was a lot riding on these results.
So from the top. Average Fibre Diameter (AFD)......18.9!
Get in there my son! I exclaimed out loud (and I mean LOUD!) Pretty good for a fourth fleece! The one thing I knew about fleece statistics, or histograms as I now know them, was that the AFD was good if it was low, the lower the average micron meant the finer the fibres were and that is good, obviously. I wanted the AFD to be less than 20 microns so I was chuffed, very chuffed.
So what did the rest of it mean? The next stat was the SD or Standard Deviation. Again I knew the lower the number the better. Qjori's came in at 3.90. Now I didn't know what it meant but I knew that was a good number, very good.
I now know that the SD is the micron deviation that 95% of the fibres fall into. So 95% of the fibres were within 3.9 microns of the AFD (18.9). This in turn means that more of the fibres are very similar and so the uniformity of fleece is better. A low SD means a very uniform fleece. Oh yeah baby we were rocking and a rolling!
CV was the next number. Coefficient of Variation. Again I knew that I was looking for a low number around the 20 mark. Qjori's came in at 20.50%. Looked good but what is the CV?
Well the CV is the SD divided by the AFD x 100. I think that's right but I don't really know what the point of it is?
The final number was the % of Fibres > 30 micron. Once again I knew that a low number was good. The percentage of fibres over 30 microns gives you a rough idea about how the fleece will feel to the touch. The manufacturing industry (I have been researching you know!) deems that any fibre over 30 microns is likely to feel scratchy or rough on the skin. So a score of 0.83% was a pretty good result for our boy then !
All in all we were extremely happy with Qjori's results. He is a superstar, he is the future, he is a god amongst brown alpacas, he is the shining light for the Mighty Patou to follow on the path to righteousness, guide us Qjori, Ye are the great one............ ooops got a bit carried away there, er hum.
So what of other results? Well Columbus is still holding his fineness at 22.8 microns, good lad. The best of the girls were our two superstars from the show ring last year. Millie (double reserve champion brown female last year - British Alpaca Futurity and the BAS Spring Show if you're interested) had an AFD of 24.1 with an SD of 4.30 (CV of 17.90%). Penny, who was judged as a brown and a fawn (two second place rosettes) came in with an AFD of 20.4, SD 4.0 (CV 19.70%).
Right must stop all that, all those numbers have made me feel quite queasy.
So AFD 18.9, SD 3.90, CV 20.50% and 0.83% of fibres > 30 micron. What does that look like when it is packed onto a beautiful brown boy?