This section is from the "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. Also available from Amazon: A complete dictionary of dry goods and history of silk, cotton, linen, wool and other fibrous substances,: Including a full explanation of the modern processes ... together with various useful tables.
Fleece. The coat of wool that covers a sheep, or that is shorn from a sheep at one time. In commerce, wools are distinguished as fleece-wools and dead-wools, the former being obtained from living animals at the annual shearings, and the latter from animals that have been killed; as at the various packing houses over the country. [See Wool] In the United States the heaviest shearing sheep are the Merino breed, the heaviest recorded fleece being that taken from a ram owned by Reynolds & Daved, of Mulvane, Kans., the weight of which was 52 pounds. The heaviest recorded ewe fleece weighed 30 pounds, from the same flock, and 13 1/4 pounds represents the weight of the heaviest fleece of scoured wool. The term fleece is also applied to a fabric with a soft, silky pile, used for warmth, as for lining garments, gloves, and caps; such articles are said to be fleece-lined.