Wool means various animal hairs, which can be spun and woven. The best known wool supplier is sheep, followed by goat, rabbit, alpaca and camel.
Usually the wool dress of a sheep is obtained by hand or machine scissors, in some animals the wool is combed out or plucked (the plucking is painless for the animals, loose hair is already plucked from the fur). It is then sorted and formed into an untwisted, coarse roving and finely spun. For coarser textiles, the yarn is dyed before weaving, for smooth fabrics, such as a suit fabric, it is dyed only after weaving.
Different wool qualities of sheep's wool are determined by hair length, crimping and fineness.
Kurkwolle: a soft and elastic product, which originates from the first shearing of a sheep (approx. 6 months old).
Merino wool: it comes from the famous Merino sheep and is characterised by its high-quality wool. It is soft, fine and strongly crimped.
Crossbred wool: it comes from Crossbred sheep, a cross between coarse wool and merino sheep. It is medium stapled, medium fine and not as soft or crimped as merino wool.
Cheviot wool: this is a long staple, coarse wool. It is used in the carpet industry and in the technical sector.
New Wool: If a product is called new wool, it is a product that comes directly from a live animal. This quality feature prevents the product from being made from old textiles or wool from deceased animals.
In addition to sheep, wool is also obtained from other animal skins:
Mohair: this is how the wool of the Angor goat is called. It is hardly crimped and has a higher density than sheep's wool.
Alpaca wool: with its many miscroscopically small air inclusions, the wool of alpacas is the leader in the field of heat storage.
Angora wool: this is the particularly soft and hardly crimped wool of the Angora rabbit.
Quiviut: this is the name given to the undercoat of musk oxen that is difficult to spin. The result is very high-quality wool.
Wool clothing has excellent thermoregulation properties as its fibres consist of approx. 85% air. This makes it possible for a woollen sweater to store body heat in the fabric and for a headscarf to protect against external heat in the warm regions of the earth. Wool absorbs moisture well without feeling wet, the surface repels moisture.
In contrast to synthetic fibres, wool fibres are hardly inflammable, which is why they are often used in trains and airplanes as well as for fire brigade and soldier uniforms.
Wool clothing rarely creases and can be stretched by more than 40% when wet. When dry, it regains its original fit. However, this property also depends on the quality of the wool, as poor quality wool has less elasticity.
Wool products are hardly susceptible to dirt and odours, which is why it is usually sufficient to shake them out and ventilate them. If you still want to wash your woollen clothes, you should first and foremost follow the guidelines on the washing list.
It is advisable to choose the wool washing cycle or the hand washing cycle with a temperature between 30 and 40°C. The washing cycle should be done by hand. A wool detergent or mild detergent should be used. Usually wool clothes should not be put in the tumble dryer, if the washing notes have other information, then you should do this at very low temperatures. Otherwise, washed clothes should be dried lying down.