Question 1: What is a distaff?
- A wool-spinning tool
- A shepherd’s crook
- A type of yarn
Correct Answer: A wool-spinning tool
Fact: The distaff is a tool that predates the invention of the spinning wheel in 1533, and it holds wool neatly in place before it's spun on the spindle. January 7 is Distaff Day, an event dating back to medieval times when women went back to work spinning yarn after the Christmas holidays.
Question 2: Which animal produces mohair?
- Angora goat
Correct Answer: Angora goat
Fact: You can thank the Angora goat for its fast-growing, shiny locks, aka mohair. The Angora comes from Turkey—in fact, its name is derived from Ankara, the capital city of Türkiye. The word mohair itself is derived from the Arabic word 'mukhayyar,' for the fabric woven from the goat's hair.
Question 3: Which breed of sheep is known for high-quality wool?
Correct Answer: Merino
Fact: Merino sheep were first bred in Spain during the Middle Ages. The wool was so sought after that the breed was a carefully guarded secret, allowing Spain to maintain a monopoly on the market until the 18th century.