Wool is one of the most popular and widely used fabrics in the world and there are different types of wool that range from dirt-cheap prices to one’s that are worth your kidneys. This is because, wool is a natural fabric that is obtained from animals like sheep, lambs, camels etc. Since it is primarily made up of the keratin-based protein, there is a certain amount of elasticity in the fabric which helps it in expanding at lengths.
Another major reason why wool is such a popular and widely used fabric is due to its ability to hold heat, which is why it is worn especially in winters and in colder regions. Moreover, wool is durable and extremely versatile in terms of what all can be made out of it. A designer or manufacturer can also tweak the heaviness of wool, in regards to what they want to make from it.
Now, let’s jump right into the different types of wool fabric and from where does each one of these wool types come.
1. Lambswool – Types Of Wool
One of the softest types of wool in the market, lambswool is also known as “virgin wool” since it’s extracted from a baby sheep’s first shearing. The baby sheep is only months old which makes the wool soft, difficult to wrinkle and hypoallergenic. Apart from being soft, Lambswool is also very expensive since every sheep is only able to produce it once in their lifetime.
Another one of the expensive and most luxurious types of wool, Cashmere is extremely soft and lightweight. It is believed that an actual and 100% authentic cashmere is so lightweight that it can pass through a ring.
The reason why it is so expensive is due to the fact that the wool is extracted from Cashmere goat’s skin by combing in through, rather than shredding it, which is a tedious and labour heavy task. However, there is one huge downside of this wool and that is that it requires a lot of care and is also not very durable.
3. Merino – Types Of Wool
You’ll be able to immediately separate Merino wool from the rest due to its shiny and superfine appearance. This type of wool fabric can regulate body temperature in both hot and cold weather which is why it’s widely used in athletic apparel. Extracted from the sheep with the same name, this wool is originally native to Spain, but can also be found in Australia and New Zealand today.
Mohair can be considered the type of wool which has the best of both worlds’ properties. It is both durable and lustrous in its appearance. Mohair is sheared from the Angora goat and even though it appears to be extremely lightweight, it has great insulation properties and can keep you warm for long. People usually use this wool for dresses, baby’s clothing, scarves and suits.
5. Angora – Different Types of Wool
Rather than extracting the wool from sheep, Angora wool is actually taken from a rabbit identified with the same name. It is soft and super fluffy which perfectly retains heat. However, it is also very fragile in nature, hence it’s usually mixed with other types of wool to give some more durability to the fabric. This is another one of the expensive wool due to their rarity.
Alpaca is designers’ favourite for making high-end suiting, blankets, coats and other such designs. Alpaca wool is extracted from two different breeds of Alpaca – Suri and Huacaya. While Suri is silkier and used for making woven apparel, Huacaya is thicker and used for knitting different items. The fabric, in general, is very soft, lightweight, durable and warm.
These were some of the different types of wool fabrics that are extracted from different kinds of animals. Almost all kinds of wool are expensive due to the sheer amount of time and labour goes into it, there is also cheap wool and wool clothing in the market today which is made from synthetic fabric to replicate wool.