A daily dose of inspiration in:
Design / Art
/ Film / Travel
Sheep Shearing, Photograph by George Bell
The technique of Australian hand shearing gradually developed from the 1830s using the old English method of cutting the flank with hand shears in a series of circular cuts from the sheep’s neck to the tail. An improvement was cutting the wool in the opposite direction from the tail to neck called the long ‘blow’. This reduced the number of positions needed to hold the sheep and was much faster. By the 1890s most shearers used the long or three-quarter blow. Nevertheless, it took just over 5 minutes to hand shear a sheep, with an average daily tally of 60 to 80 sheep. Hand shearing was extremely hard work with shearers suffering from hand strain or ‘swollen wrists’ and back pain.