When the evenings become frostier there’s nothing better than covering head to toe in wool. It’s cosy, particularly warm, resilient and versatile. In fact, wool is one of the oldest textiles fibres, dating back over two thousand years – and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down.
So without further ado, we’ve got the lowdown on all things wool, the pros, the cons and tips to keep your wool clothing in top notch condition.
Wool comes from the fleece of the sheep’s, lambs, goats and other animals; so it’s no surprise one of the biggest advantages is its warmth. Wool is renown for holding heat in extremely well – after all, it’s what animals grow to stay warm.
From thick fabrics to silky threads and coarse yarns, wool can be woven into practically anything, to suit all needs. Regardless, in any form wool has a deep richness and texture that even the finest cotton can’t beat.
Did you know, tailors actually prefer wool for suit jackets because wool holds its shape and is incredibly durable.
Top tip: remember to hang your wool jackets rather than folding them – once you get a crease, it takes a long time to work it out.
It’s no secret that wool tends to peak at the higher price points, especially cashmere products, which comes from goat hair. While the raw material can be pricey, the cost racks up with the additional processing and cleaning costs.
Due to its high absorbency and ease of dyeing, wool is susceptible to stains. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there – those wine stain horrors we try so hard to forget.
Direct heat is arguably the most damaging thing for wool. The heat damages the protein in the fibre, changing the shape of the threads which can distort the product or worse, leave holes. This is why wool is steamed or pressed rather than ironed.
Wet wool loses strength; once a garment becomes wet enough you’ll need to avoid stretching it out. The best way to do this is by laying it flat out to dry.
Wool needs to avoid three hurdles: heat, light and insects, so storage space is really important. Treat it well and it will be the most durable fabric in your wardrobe, but watch out for pesky months, they’re the real enemy.
Dry cleaning is the basic method or cleaning wool garments, it’s cheap and doesn’t need to be done too often. You won’t have to worry about a thing, leave it the experts to remove odours and stains.
Now you’re clued up on wool, get the lowdown on all things cashmere.
Words by Natalie Gomez