Pure new wool, boiled wool, wool felt .... all terms that we sometimes see passing by. But what is it exactly? There is much to tell about wool; we are happy to explain to you what the differences are. All wool starts with the animal, there are different animals that provide wool. The best known and by far the most wool is supplied by sheep, but goats (cashmere) llamas and rabbits also supply wool. In this blog we stick to sheep, because that is our main supplier of the soft wool.
Most wool comes from the merino sheep, thanks to the many skin folds, this sheep produces up to 5 kilos of wool per year. The merino sheep are mainly kept in Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. The thin, fine wool hairs of the Merino sheep are about 0.01 mm thin, in contrast to the wool hairs of, for example, the Shetland sheep, which have wool hairs of no less than 0.04 mm thick. The thinner and finer the wool hairs, the less it itches. There is even an itch point; in most people, wool starts to itch with wool hairs from 0.028 mm thick. Merino wool with 0.01 mm thin hairs will therefore often not feel itchy. The mulesing process is controversial; the skin around the rear of the sheep is removed (without anesthesia). This is done to prevent the bluebottle from laying eggs in the skin folds. The larvae of the bluebottle eat the sheep, which is often very painful and can sometimes even lead to death. Fortunately, there are also alternative methods to combat these flies/larvae, for example using insecticides, or shaving several times. The use of anesthesia during treatment is also used nowadays. You can recognize mulesing-free wool by this logo, for example. The Merino wool products we sell are mulesing free.
Virgin wool, sheep's wool and lamb's wool.
Virgin wool is a type of wool, virgin wool comes from a healthy and living sheep. You can recognize pure new wool by the international wool brand. “Ordinary” wool is wool that has been reused and therefore does not come directly from a living sheep. Lambswool is the shorn wool from a lamb between 7 and 9 months old.
Pure virgin wool
Boiled wool and wool felt.
With boiled wool, wool yarn is first knitted and then boiled. Cooking shrinks the wool and makes it firmer and firmer. Boiled wool retains its beautiful color and hardly creases. Boiled wool is used in clothing and slippers, for example Giesswein's slippers .
Wool felt is not made from yarn, but from raw wool. If you look at the wool fiber under the microscope, you will see small scales and side hairs. Under the influence of moisture and heat, these scales open. Due to the friction, the scales and side hairs hook into each other. In this way, the wool shrinks, as it were, and becomes more compact and firmer. Wool felt is very strong and very wear-resistant. We sell Haflinger and Glerups slippers made of this sustainable material.
The woolborg product, jersey with wool, is a well-kept secret in the wool industry. Tricot is a fine knit fabric. This creates an irresistibly soft and caring fabric. Curious about our woolborg products? Click on the link and view our range .
The advantages of wool at a glance!
- Temperature regulating; it keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer, wool has an excellent insulating capacity.
- moisture regulating; it absorbs moisture easily and allows it to evaporate easily.
- fire retardant; the high moisture content, the high ignition temperature and the high nitrogen content make it a relatively safe material.
- Self-cleaning, antibacterial and dirt-repellent due to the lanolin.