The shearer is shown here using a traditional hand-shearer, as opposed to electric clippers which have become very popular for obvious reasons.
If handled properly, the sheep become very placid during the shearing process. A good handler does not stress the animal and obviously avoids cutting the animal during the shearing.
This picture shows the end product which is ready to be cleaned and sent for processing into roving. The wool is placed on a large table and is hand-cleaned, trimmed and checked for 'VM', i.e. vegetative matter (leaves, burrs, etc).
Roving is then hand-spun into yarn and is ready to become a fine sweater. Wool has a unique ability to keep its wearer warm even when wet and is fire-resistant.
Synthetics like polarfleece are made from petroleum products and are not really biodegradable. They are also highly flammable and not great for insulation when wet.
I buy wool products whenever possible and there are many forms of wool now that are washable and wrinkle-free. Its renewable, local, and durable.
The fine wools like merino are softer but are not as durable and pill after a short time.
So remember to buy and wear wool products!