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in animal husbandry, the removal of the hairy covering from animals to obtain wool (sheep, goats, camels), to take care of skin, or to promote heat exchange (cattle and horses). Certain breeds of dog are clipped in order to achieve a desired appearance. Fine-wooled and semifine-wooled sheep are sheared only once a year, in the spring; coarse-wooled and semicoarsewooled sheep are sheared in the spring and fall. In countries with a developed sheep-raising industry, shearing is for the most part mechanized. In the USSR about 90 percent of the sheep population is sheared by machine. During the shearing period special sheds are set up and are equipped with shearing machines with 24, 36, 48, or 60 units or with sets of equipment for shearing sheep on 24 (KTO-24) or 48 (KTO-48) machines. Most common is a method of shearing derived from methods worked out by New Zealand sheep shearers. Under optimum conditions a sheep can be sheared in two to 2½ minutes.
in textile production, the removal of protruding ends of threads, knots, and hairs from the surface of a fabric and the evening of the length of pile to improve the fabric’s appearance. Both woven and knitted fabrics undergo shearing. The process is carried out on two types of machines: lengthwise shearing machines (the major type) and transverse shearing machines, which are used to cut the fabric ends. The working element is a shearing mechanism consisting of a cylinder to which spiral blades are attached, a flat steel blade, a table, and guiding rollers. The rapidly rotating cylinder and the stationary flat blade form a scissors mechanism that cuts the fabric as it passes through the shearing mechanism.
Machines with outputs from 27–81 m per min are used in the USSR to shear coarse cotton, linen, light woolens, and artificial and natural silk fabrics. Machines with outputs of 8–24 m per min are used for heavy woven and knitted fabrics.