In textiles, refers to the naturally formed cluster of wool fibres: a sheepskin fleece is made of many staples. The strength of a staple of wool affects its price and is one of the major factors to take into account when spinning yarn.
The length of a staple determines the end use of the wool: the longest wool fibres, 51mm or over, can be combed and processed into worsted yarns; short staple wools make the yarn for in knitting and for weaving any cloth that can accept yarn made from the short fibres.
A wool stapler, an antiquated term, was a dealer in wool–someone who bought from the producer, sorting, grading and selling wool on to the spinners and weavers. Many place names attest to this profession, such as Barnstaple in North Devon…
A stapler also refers to ‘a place appointed by royal authority, in which a body of merchants had exclusive right of purchase of certain goods designed for export.’