Kemp is a brittle, weak fibre forming the residual traces of a secondary coat in some breeds of sheep, which may be mixed with normal fibres in a wool fleece. This hair is not desirable in a fleece, as it does not accept dye, minimizing both the quality and the value of the wool. Kemp fibre is also hollow, which is the reason it does not hold dye.[1] There are three parts to kemp. First is the root, which is often frayed and swollen and has completed its growth or has already been shed. Second is a clear transparent section, and third is central core surround by a clear coat which takes up the majority of the fibre. [2]


  1. ^ D'Arcy, John Bernard (1990). Sheep Management and Wool Technology. UNSW Press. p. 90. ISBN 0-86840-036-X.
  2. ^ Duerden, J. E. (11 December 2008). "Part II. Kemp Fibres in the Merino". Journal of the Textile Institute Transactions. 17 (6): T268–T273. doi:10.1080/19447022608661385. Retrieved 8 February 2024.