Fiber irregularity affects fiber mechanical properties. This study has, for the first time, introduced the concept of limiting irregularity to single wool fibers. The limiting irregularity is the minimum variation in fiber cross sectional area that can be expected of a single wool fiber, assuming a random length-wise distribution of its constituent cortical cells. Cortical cells were extracted from merino wool fibers and their dimensions were measured from SEM images to calculate their cross sectional area variations both between cortical cells and within cortical cells, and to work out the average number of cortical cells in the cross section of wool fibers of a given diameter. Single wool fibers were also measured at 5 µm interval along length for fiber diameter variations. These variations were found to be larger than that based on fiber limiting irregularity.
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