What Is Wool Fabric?Wool fabric is made from the natural fibers in the fleece found on animals. Most wool fabric comes from sheep, though it can also be made from other animals such as camels, goats, and alpacas.
Is Wool Itchy?Wool is itchy if it's low-quality. As a general rule, the larger the diameter of the wool strands, the lower the quality and the itchier it will feel. Wool with smaller strands will feel softer. Many wool producers use cheap wool to lower product costs, but cheaper wool with thick fibers is often responsible for itching. Choosing the right wool makes all the difference.
If you’ve experienced itching caused by wool and are wondering how to make wool less itchy, the answer is to choose a different kind of wool. You might save a few dollars buying cheap or synthetic wool products, but you’ll likely stop using them because of how uncomfortable they are. Merino wool isn't itchy and is one of the best types of wool to prevent scratching.
What Makes a Material Itchy?Wool allergies are rare, but they do occur and can cause itching. Research has shown that wool allergies are likely caused by lanolin, a naturally occurring coating on wool fibers. Using wool products that are mixed with synthetic fibers can also cause itching. Synthetic fibers are less breathable than natural ones and can lead to more sweating or rashes.
What Types of Wool Are There?As mentioned above, wool can come from several types of animals. Here are several common types of wool you may have heard of.
Merino WoolMerino wool comes from the Merino sheep. Its fibers have a diameter of under 20 microns, making it one of the softest types of wool. Merino wool is temperature-regulating, which makes it great for year-round use. It’s also antibacterial and prevents odors.
Cashmere WoolCashmere wool is produced by the cashmere goat and is extremely fine, like Merino wool. It’s incredibly soft and lightweight but not as durable as sheep wool. Cashmere has a high price because one goat usually produces only 150 grams of the material a year.
Mohair WoolMohair wool also comes from goats, most commonly the Angora goat. Mohair fibers have a thicker diameter than sheep wool and have scales that aren’t fully developed. This makes Mohair wool feel different from standard wool.
Alpaca WoolAlpaca wool is durable, soft, and silky, with fibers similar in size to Merino wool. However, these fibers are mostly hollow, so they trap more heat than sheep wool. Alpaca wool is also water-repellant, so it doesn’t absorb liquid. Some people find that alpaca wool is itchy, especially in people with sensitive skin.
Camel WoolCamel wool comes from the undercoat of the Bactrian camel. This wool is rough and best suited for outerwear. It’s very warm and acts as an insulator to maintain body temperature. Camel wool is one of the most expensive types of wool you can buy.
Virgin WoolThere are two definitions for virgin wool. The first is wool taken from a lamb’s first shearing. Wool from the first shearing is the softest wool you can get during the sheep’s lifetime. The second definition of virgin wool is any wool that hasn’t been recycled, woven, or processed. Virgin wool is incredibly soft and breathable.
Llama WoolThe hollow core of llama wool makes it lightweight and gives it an excellent weight-to-warmth ratio. It’s soft yet durable and is very similar to alpaca wool.
How to Make Wool Less ItchyIf you find that your old wool sweater or bedding makes you scratch, try these tips to soften the wool.
- Make a mix with two tablespoons of white vinegar and a bucket of cold water.
- Turn your wool clothing inside out and completely submerge it in the mixture.
- Soak your wool fabric for 15 minutes, then rinse it in cold water.
Benefits of Using WoolWool is a unique luxury fabric that can improve your sleep by up to 25%. It provides a healthier, more peaceful sleep than other fabrics. Here’s what makes wool so great.
- Insulates temperature. Wool fabrics are natural insulators that keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- Low flammability. Wool is fireproof without the use of chemical treatments.
- Breathable. Synthetic fibers tend to trap heat in your bed. Wool can buffer the cold or hot air outside your blanket, keeping your body at the ideal temperature.
- Eco-friendly. Wool is renewable and can be shorn from sheep annually. It’s also biodegradable and safe for the environment.
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