What is wool?
Wool is a word that you have probably heard numerous times to describe a piece of clothing material.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering what wool actually is.
Does it come from animals?
Does it come from plants?
Is it some form of synthetic material?
What the heck is this thing?
Well, you are in luck because we are going to share the true definition of wool with you now.
Definition of wool
Wool is a natural fiber which is found in a variety of different animals.
The three most popular animals which naturally produce this fiber are sheep, goats, and rabbits.
People tend to raise these animals for the purpose of taking their woolly undercoat and converting them into various products, such as clothes and decorations.
There are many different types of wool materials available, based on the animals they come from.
For instance, there is the qiviut wool that comes from muskoxen and there is cashmere wool that comes from cashmere goats.
Each type of wool has their own distinct natural properties which separate them from the rest.
Now you are probably saying to yourself,
“Why don’t I just raise a bunch of these animals and sell them for their wool material? I could make a whole bunch of money that way.”
Well, if you have a yard, don’t even think about taking care of these kinds of animals by yourself.
Even for the wool collected, taking care of these animals will be a painstaking process.
You need to have the knowledge and expertise to know how to rightfully care for these animals.
It is better to let others who work in the industry do it.
That way, the results will show in the quality of the wool that is produced by the animals.
And anyway, we are more than happy to use the final product. Yeeeyyyy!!!!
Isn’t that all we care about anyway?
We really love the wool scarves or clothes, don’t we?
These are the things that us laypeople ought to be concerning ourselves with.
Let the breeding, nurturing, and herding of sheep be left to the ranchers who are experienced at that kind of thing.
What is wool used for?
Oh, believe me, my friends; there are many uses of wool, especially for clothing pieces within the fashion industry.
Wool can be used for not only clothes but also for blankets, carpets and even in construction projects where it can be a good insulator.
The durability of the wool fibers allows it to trap heat or cool hair within the interior of a structure.
There are just so many ways to use the wool material.
You just need to get creative with it and have fun.
Do you know what the advantages/properties of wool are?
There are many advantages to using wool, some of which are very important to the human body.
First of all, the wool regulates the body’s temperature.
You will be amazed to find out that you can wear wool clothing not only during the winter time, but also during the summer time too.
This is called the “natural climate zone” because it can endure both hot and cold temperatures.
Meanwhile, your body temperature will remain at around 97 degrees Fahrenheit while the temperatures around your body will likely be drastically colder.
But this ability to stay warm in freezing conditions will keep your body healthy and it will allow you to last longer outside without needing a break.
Wool clothes make you feel comfortable; because they keep you warm in the winter and cold in the summer.
How many other materials can you say that about?
The air pockets within the wool fibers allow your skin to breathe.
That is a big reason that you can stay cool in warmer temperatures.
But if it is cold outside, the durability of the fabric will do a good job of keeping you warm and not letting coldness get through the air pockets.
Wool absorbs excess amounts of moisture and then removes it.
This is the reason that many babies or sportspeople’s clothes are made from wool.
We all know babies can be pretty messy when it comes to drinks and bodily fluids.
Wool does not stain or sustain moisture like traditional cotton clothing does.
As for sportspeople, such as athletes, they can wear the wool material directly on the skin and stay completely comfortable.
The wool will absorb their bodily fluids so that they don’t have a soaked uniform as they’re performing.
Imagine running up and down a long field all day and not having soaked clothes.
That is the miracle which wool can give to a sportsperson.
Thanks to wool fiber structure, your skin will be fresh and clean for a longer period of the day.
Wool is a very clean fabric in itself. Since it is moisture resistant and does not stain, your skin underneath the wool will stay protected and clean always.
You no longer need to worry about accidental spills or falling on the ground and getting the wool dirty.
It is very easy to clean dirt and debris off wool because those substances do not get absorbed by the material.
Do you ever wonder how wool is able to reject water and stay resistant to moisture?
The answer is very simple … Lanolin.
This is a waxy substance which gets produced in the sebaceous glands of all animals that naturally contain wool.
The animals can stay resistant to moisture because of this waxy substance.
When the times comes for the animals to be put down for their wool, the lanolin wool wax will also be extracted from them too.
Lanolin has been incorporated into a variety of uses.
Some companies use lanolin in their pesticides because it has natural properties to deter insects.
There are also some dermatologists that have created topical treatments for eczema which contain lanolin in them.
There are not too many materials that you can say are antibacterial.
Usually, when you think of that term, it refers to an oil or medication which has antibacterial properties to it.
Well, prepare to be amazed because wool is naturally antibacterial.
Once again, the lanolin of the wool is what gives it antibacterial properties.
If you have recently cut yourself and you want to prevent an infection by adequately covering it, then you can be sure that wool will keep your wound protected.
This is also why many medieval knights and fighters used to wear wool clothing underneath their armor.
It was a way to keep any possible wounds of theirs safe from infection.
Wool is fire resistance.
Because of its nitrogen substance, it is self-destructive to fire and does not release toxic gases.
This makes wool great to use if you are constantly working around fires or hot temperatures.
One awesome thing about wool which most people don’t know is that it is biodegradable.
That’s right, the hairs of the wool will actually get broken up into the earth and recycled by nature.
That is not something you could expect to see from synthetic or other unnatural materials.
Do you go out in the sunlight a lot?
Are you tired of hearing your doctor tell you that you need to put sunscreen on your skin?
Now, you can get all the ultraviolet protection that you’ll ever want by just wearing wool over your skin.
The properties of wool allow it to provide a high amount of UV protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
What are the types of wool?
There are many types of wool, but most important are:
MERINO WOOL – Merinos wool is collected from Merinos sheep. The best sheep for wool production is considered to be Merinos sheep.
ALPACA WOOL – Alpaca wool is collected from alpaca animals.
CASHMERE WOOL – Cashmere wool is collected from a special type of goat.
ANGORA WOOL – Angora wool is collected from angora rabbits. Their hair is very long.
SILK – Silk is collected from the larvae of certain insects and worms
Do you know that?
The four types of wool that were listed are the most popular wool in the world.
However, there are over 200 different types of wool in the world which most people have never heard of before.
The most famous wool is called Merinos Wool.
People love this wool because it is a very fine and soft to the touch. It has very similar characteristics to those of cashmere wool and alpaca wool.
History of wool
Wool has been used for clothing since the days of the prehistoric era.
It is believed that early human beings used wool to keep warm.
They also killed the goats and sheep for their meat too. However, this was over 10,000 years ago and these woolly animals were not domesticated.
Early humans would just hunt these animals and slaughter them individually for their wool and meat.
It wasn’t until about 6,000 B.C. when humans became intelligent enough to domesticate these animals and gather them to collect their wool and furs.
This belief is based on archaeological evidence that was discovered in Iran.
You can read more about types of wool here: