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Types of Wool

35 of the Best Types of Wool and Its Properties You Need to Know 

Wool is a type of fabric made from fibers and obtained from the fleece of sheep, goats, camels, Llamas, or other mammals. Wool is shaved from the hair of these animals and spun into yarn or thread.

People have been wearing wool from 6000 BC and breeding animals for wool for an even longer time. Wool fabrics are warm, breathable, and have natural elastic. 

Sheep wool
Image Source: Vince Veras On Unsplash

The wool fabrics have high recovery properties, meaning the fiber’s natural structure can absorb up to 35% moisture before feeling damp. These properties also mean that wool fabrics are static-resistant and odor-resistant.

Many types of wool come with a natural layer of lanolin which makes it water-repellent and stain-resistant.

Wool is one of the expensive and common types of textile fibers since it is soft, durable, warm, comfortable, and luxurious. Wool is versatile and durable, and it can be used for making lightweight and soft fabrics. There are many reasons why people prefer wool fabric.

Properties of Different Types of Wool

Gray knitted cloth
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Wool is one of the remarkable materials and has unique properties that make it ideal for woven into warm fabrics.

Crimp is a natural wave in wool that makes the weave trap in the fabric to give it sufficient warmth and insulation. Here are some excellent properties of wool:

    • Insulating
    • Breathable
    • Durable
    • Warm

Wool doesn’t burn in a fabric burning test, making it effective in decreasing flammability. Wool also competes with some natural fibers such as cotton and linen, but it has different attributes. It is an animal product with 97% protein and 3% fat which makes it different from cotton.

Different breeds of sheep were bred for a fine variety of wool when sheep were first house-trained. The merino is one of the popular types of wool across the world that belong to the sheep family.

Types of wool
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Wool fabrics can be identified by the Woolmark placed on woven labels. It is considered a mark of quality. Australia is a leading wool production country that churns out 25% of the world’s total wool.

The United States and China come after Australia with 18% production of wool per country. New Zealand comes on the fourth rank with 11% of the world’s total wool production.

9 Different Types of Wool by Animal

Many people think that wool comes from sheep, but that is not necessary. Many types of wool come from an animal, and each has its own distinct properties.

Different types of wool by animal
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If you’re wondering how many types of wool are there, then here are nine different types of wool that come from the fur of animals.

Lambswool

Lambswool
Image Source: Scotland Cashmere Factory

Lambswool is also known as “virgin wool.” It always comes from the first shearing of a young lamb when it is just seven months old. It is considered as one of the most expensive types of sheep wool since each lamb just produces one “first shearing.” 

It is pretty smooth, soft, and fine wool with hypoallergenic properties. The wool fabric made from this wood is strong and does not require much processing. It is hard to wrinkle lambswool, making it types of clothing aesthetics for many clothing products.

Angora

Angora wool is not the wool that you get from an Angora goat. Angora wool is a different type of wool that comes from Angora rabbits. It is soft, fluffy, and warmest of the natural fibers. 

The fibers of this wool are soft and delicate, and thus, it is mixed with other fibers to increase its durability. Angora wool has the best moisture-wicking ability and retains heat. The types of fabrics made from Angora wool can keep you warm during cold days. 

Just like Alpaca wool, Angora wool is smooth and hollow, giving it unmatched warmth and softness. The extreme fineness of Angora wool requires matting and felting, and thus, it has to be used with different types of wool blends and other fibers. 

Angora breeders also need to comb Angora rabbits every single day, and the entire process and low yield can add a hefty price to the wool price.

Merino

Different types of wool
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Merino wool is one of the softest types of wool that comes from Merino sheep. These sheep originated from Spain, but much of today’s merino wool comes from New Zealand and Australia. 

Merino wool is famous for its fine fibers, which offer extraordinary softness and make it ideal for clothes like base layers that can be kept in direct contact with skin. The fabric made from merino wool is also great at regulating body temperature. Many athletic clothes are made from merino types of wool. 

This durable fabric has a low yield as compared to other types of wool. The scouring process is required for merino wool to remove fatty greases that come in the material. 

The wool is washed in chemicals to eliminate the natural lanolin layer in the scouring process, but this process just yields 50% of the first wool. The entire long-hour process produces merino wool types of expensive wool.

Alpaca

As the name suggests, Alpaca wool comes from the coat of the alpaca. The alpaca was first found in Peru, and Peruvian people used its wool to make shawls and fancy blankets. 

There are two breeds of Alpaca named the huacaya and the Suri. The Huacaya wool is thicker wool that is used for knit fabrics, whereas the Suri wool comes with a silky texture and is used in woven fabrics. 

Alpaca wool is both warmer and lighter than other sheep’s wool. As compared to Cashmere, alpaca is soft and stronger wool. This wool is used for different items such as coats, bedspreads, high-end suits, and blankets.

Vicuna

Types of wool fabric
Image Source: Pinterest

This rarest wool comes from the Vicuna that is an animal related to Ilama and alpaca. They are expensive animals found in the Inca of South America. 

In the past, the wool obtained from vicuna was allowed to be worn by the Inca royal family. It is considered as one of the types of expensive wool fabrics as the animal can be shorn once every three years. 

This wool type is warm and finer than Cashmere. On average, a vicuna jacket can cost you around USD 21,000.

Shetland

Shetland wool comes from sheep belonging to the Shetland Islands of Scotland. Shetland wool is soft, durable, warm, and lightweight. 

This wool comes in one of the widest variety of natural colors of any other type of sheep wool. If you want to use wool for knitting, then Shetland wool is one of the best choices. Check these 35 intermediate sewing projects for more sewing patterns.

Mohair

What is mohair
Image Source: BettaKnit

Mohair is a different type of wool that comes from Angora goat. This soft, silky, lustrous, and heavy-weight wool fabric has a fuzzy surface. 

Many times, mohair wool is woven into a plain weave to keep you warm. Mohair wool is used for making different types of scarves, beautiful dresses, suits, cardigans, and baby clothes.

Cashmere

Cashmere wool is considered one of the luxurious natural fibers. When Kashmir (Cashmere) goats enter the molting season, this wool is shorn from them. 

The yield per goat is small and requires just two cashmere goats to make a single sweater. This wool has a high level of natural crimp and creates an expensive but beautiful soft fabric. 

The wool cultivated by special goats results in fine fibers with the same thickness as merino wool.

Camel Hair

Camel hair
Image Source: Trusted Clothes

Camel’s hair is another luxurious fine wool that comes from Bactrian camels. These camels are bred in frigid regions such as China, Mongolia, Russia, etc., and are collected when the camels start molting in spring. 

This wool is found in natural Golden Brown shades and is combined with other wool types to make it softer and affordable.

The first production of camel hair coats was started in 1920 in the USA when polo players wore them. The soft hair from the camel’s undercoat is used to make clothes, whereas the coarse outer hair is used to back carpets and upholstery.

6 Types of Wool Fabric Treatment

The wool fabric falls into two categories. The length of the wool fiber characterizes these categories.

Types of sheep wool
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Worsted Fabrics are made by twisting long fibers together. Shorter fibers are used for making fuzzy and tufted wool fabrics. These fabrics have a smooth surface. Wool can also be categorized as carpet wool or apparel wool. 

Here are some of the types of wool fabric treatment based on process and quality that you should know.

Super Wool

Superwool
Image Source: Universal Yarn Creative Network

Super wool is considered as the fiber count in the quality of the wool. They can be classified as Super 100, 110, 120, 150, etc. The higher the number, the finer the wool fabric.

Organic Wool

Organic wool is a different type of wool from sheep that are bred without any dangerous chemicals. The sheep are raised in the natural surrounding and on pesticide-free grazing using some organic farming techniques.

Melton

Wool melton fabric
Image Source: Allie Olson Sewing Patterns

Melton is a warm brand of wool. These fibers are thick, and twill weave into a variety of fabrics. They are wind-resistant and weatherproof wool. 

Melton wool is one of the popular choices when it comes to making heavy blankets and woolen jackets. If you’re wondering how to sew clothes using melton wool, then you may need to understand more about different types of woven labels and sewing techniques.

Wool Chinchilla

Wool chinchilla is a different type of wool fabric that has tufts or nubs on the fabric’s surface. These tufts are made from using sewing fabrics on special machines known as Chinchilla machines.

Boiled Wool

Boiled wool
Image Source: Men’s Suits Magazine

It is felted, stretchy wool that is achieved by several watching processes, making it thicker and water-resistant. Boiled wool is used for jackets, berets, coats, and outdoor clothing.

Lightweight Wool

If you think that wool fabric is always thick and bulky, then you are wrong. Lightweight wool is firm woven wool that comes with beautiful hang tags

Woolen Batiste, Crepe, Albatross, Woolen Challis are some of the light-weight wool fabrics with different properties.

13 Different Types of Wool Fabric and Its Properties

Throughout the years, wool and cotton have been known for supremacy and are considered as one of the most utilized fabrics in the textile industry. Each fabric is used for a different niche, and wool has secured its special place with its unique attributes.

Assorted color scarf
Image Source: Maranda Vandergriff On Unsplash

Cotton consists of almost the entire plant cellulose, and wool consists of 97% protein and 3% fat. This makes wool ideal for specific applications where cotton is not suitable.

The famous Italian family named Medici has built their entire fortune from different types of wool production. With the advancement in synthetic fibers, the worldwide demand for wool fabric has also increased.

If you want to know which type of wool is commonly available in the market, then check out this simple guide.

Wool Jersey

A wool jersey is a light to medium weight types of knit fabric that is made with wool yarn. This wool fabric has vertical ribs on the right side and horizontal ribs on the wrong side. 

This is the perfect wool fabric for cardigans, knitted sweaters, and other knit garments.

Boucle

Types of fabric wool
Image Source: Ashford Handicrafts

Boucle is a unique wool fabric that has a twisted curl loop on the surface. The wool fabric got its name from the French word bouclé, which means loop.

Gabardine

Gabardine is a medium-weight, hardwearing fabric with a ribbed, diagonal surface on one side and a smooth surface on the other. Gabardine can be pure wool or blended wool with different types of polyester fabric or cotton. 

This twill weave fabric is used for jackets, trousers, coats, skirts, and suits. Since gabardine is a strong fabric, it is used for making designer bags as well.

Herringbone

Herringbone
Image Source: Pinterest

This wool fabric has a unique zigzag weaving pattern that looks like the skeleton of a herring fish. These types of wool fabric are famous for making jackets, coats, and trousers.

Batting

Batting wool is superior wool fibers than cotton batting. The inside layer is used in quilts and bedding for insulation.

Loden

Loden wool
Image Source: Robert W. Stolz

Loden are types of wool fabric that are water-resistant. It is famous for making coats.

Wool Felt

If you’re wondering what type of fiber is wool felt, then it is a non-woven fiber obtained by matting and pressing fibers together. Wool felt is a popular and most common fabric that is used for making jackets and hats. 

It is soft, durable, and more supple than acrylic felt. Wool felt can be 100% pure wool or wool-polyester mix. Many types of wool felt fabric come with care labels to help you wash and iron.

Chenille

Different types of wool fabric
Image Source: BeCozi

Chenille is a woolen fiber woven with a soft tufted pile to give this wool fabric a velvet-like texture and surface.

Tweed

Tweed fabric got its name after the Tweed River in Scotland, where it was first made. It is associated with Scotland and Ireland. The traditional tweed is a moisture-resistant, heavy-weight, and coarse-patterned fabric that is woven in blended muted wool shades. 

The fabric tends to be twill, plain-weave, or herringbone. Modern tweed is a thick, woven woolen fabric that comes in a wide range of colors and patterns. 

These types of wool fabric are used for jackets, waistcoats, hats, skirts, dresses, and some other types of wool sweaters.

Tartan

Tartan wool
Image Source: SBS Zipper

Tartan is a traditional Scottish woolen cloth that has unique stripes and a traditional check pattern. This twill weave and medium weight woolen fabric are difficult to handle, but with advanced sewing techniques and sewing hacks, you can match the checks across seams with ease. 

Many popular tartan patterns belong to particular Scottish families. Scottish kilts, dresses, coats, skirts, and trousers are made from tartan cloth.

Flannel

Flannel is a brushed wool fabric that has a napped surface on one or both sides. This medium-weight, strong fabric comes with a plain or twill weave. 

It has a soft and cozy touch, making it ideal for nightwear clothes such as pajamas.

Wool Sharkskin

How to wear sharkskin
Image Source: Style Girlfriend

This fabric has a unique two-toned look with a smooth surface and twill weave. The two-toned is achieved via alternating yarns in warp and weft with two-color colors, one of which is white.

Venetian

Venetian is another medium-weight wool fabric that is woven with either satin or twill weave and has a shiny surface. 

These types of wool fabrics are used for skirts, dresses, suits, and jackets. You must do a dry clean and just warm iron.

7 Types of Wool Fabric Weave Used for Making Woolen Garments

Different types of woolen clothes make up the majority of our winter wardrobe. These all woolen clothes are made by using different types of wool weave patterns.

Types of wool fabric weaves
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Wool weaving is a technique in which fabric is produced by interlacing two or more yarns in a sequence to create a single woolen cloth. 

There are different types of wool fabric weaves manufacturers use to create eye-catching woolen clothes. Here are a couple of the popular types of wool fabric weaves.

Rosepath

Rosepath twill scarf
Image Source: Gist Yarn

Rosepath is an old-age, beautiful wool weave technique. In this technique, two different colored fabrics create petals around the heart of the flower. 

It is done both on the front and backside of the wool fabric.

Merezhka

It is an old weaving technique used in Ukraine. The wool surface looks appealing when created with the Merezhka technique.

Honeycomb

Two color honeycomb weave
Image Source: We Are Knitters

The honeycomb weave technique creates an excellent, soft shape. One solid color is used in this weave style.

Plain Weave

This is one of the most fundamental types of wool fabric weaves, which creates strong, durable, and versatile woolen clothes. 

In the plain weave technique, the weft and wrap are interlaced in a criss-cross pattern, creating an “over and under” sequence. The plain weave technique results in a checkerboard look. Check these easy beginner sewing projects to start sewing woolen clothes.

Twill

Types of wool blends
Image Source: NITERians Blogspot

Twill is one of the most common wool weaves used in the textile industry. You can identify this pattern since it has diagonal lines. 

The weft yarn is passed above and under multiple warp yarns by creating an alternate sequence on the fabric surface. Gabardine wool fabric is made from the twill weave technique.

Satin

Satin weave helps in creating a smooth wool fabric. This weave is achieved by floating the weft or warp yarn over four or more opposite yarns. 

Before repeating this process, the floating yarn is passed under the opposite yarn. The long distance between interlocking of the yarns creates smooth and lustrous wool fabric.

Jacquard

Knit jacquard jacket
Image Source: Pinterest

Learn to sew some bespoke pattern or image within the wool fabric by choosing the jacquard weave style. 

It is produced on a Jacquard loom, which uses a huge series of hole-punched cards to control yarns during the weaving process.

What Are Different Types of Woolen Clothes, and How to Wash Them?

Wool is almost everywhere. Right from woolen clothes to home furnishing, you can find wool fabric in almost everything.

Wool fabric is one of the most loved fabrics for the winter season. As the weather pattern changes, people start bringing out different types of woolen clothes from their wardrobes. 

Types of wool sweater
Image Source: Karolina Ostrzolek On Pexels

Wool is a soft and delicate fabric that keeps you warm and wicks moisture from your body. This fantastic fabric offers some incredible benefits, such as

    • Water repellent
    • Well-insulated
    • Reduced environmental impact
    • Durable
    • Flame resistant

If you’re wondering how many different types of wool are there, then the options are unlimited. As demand for high-quality woolen clothes increases, manufacturers use wool blends to produce the desired wool fabric.

Different types of wool and their origin have played a considerable role in making modern woolen clothes. You can find various wool fabrics in sweaters, hats, suits, gloves, and other winter garments.

To keep woolen clothes in the best condition, you need to follow some care and wash rules. Some extra care can prevent your woolen clothes from being damaged. Here are some of the tips for woolen clothes.

Spot Clean When needed.

Baking soda and stain pre treating
Image Source: The Spruce

Many wool fabrics come with stain-resistant properties, but no one wants a noticeable mark on their cloth. If your woolen garment’s care labels say that it needs to be hand-washed, then do not be afraid to spot-clean it. 

Just in case you get a stain, then use a mild detergent or woolen-specialized liquid to remove the stain.

Hand Wash

Avoid machine wash if you want to save your woolen clothes from becoming rough or misshapen. Check care label for hand-washed details and follow these steps:

    • Add some mild washing detergent in clean, lukewarm water.
    • Turn your different types of woolen clothes from inside and out and for about one minute.
    • Soak clothes in the water for about 10 minutes.
    • Remove clothes from soapy water.
    • Fill your bucket with clean water and wash it out with the remaining soap.
    • Let it flat to dry.

Drying

Wool fabric care
Image Source: Joanna Nix-Walkup On Unsplash

To avoid any shrinkage, you must dry your woolen clothes in the air. If you hang woolen clothes, then the weighting of the garment will stretch the fabric and damage the shape of your woolen sweater.

You should place a towel over a flat surface or counter and place your woolen garment on it. Roll up the towel to absorb extra moisture. When your woolen cloth is damp, use your hands to reshape the sweater.

Ironing

Most woolen garments don’t require ironing, but if you have a garment made from different types of wool blends, it needs to be ironed. 

Set medium temperature, lay the garment down, and spray a tiny amount of water on the fabric for steam function.

Conclusion

Wool is one of the versatile fabrics which is used for different purposes. It is best known for its warmness and comfort.

In this guide, we’ve covered different types of fabric wool and their texture. There are many different types of wool obtained from animals, and each has its own unique qualities that affect the look and quality of the wool fabric.

Get all the knowledge you need for different types of wool so that when you go shopping next time, you can buy the best woolen cloth for yourself.

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