Types of Wool

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 6, 2024

Did you know that wool has been an excellent material for bedding and textiles for centuries? It is one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection out there, and science is yet to produce a fiber that matches its extraordinary properties. Well, who doesn’t like wrapping a cozy wool blanket around themselves snuggled up in bed?

types of wool - cashmere, camel hair, alpaca, and more

There are literally thousands of reasons you will find wool as the most coveted and expensive fabrics, and we could spend hours telling you about them. It breathes, keeps off moisture, regulates temperature, and the list goes on. This natural fiber comes from a variety of animals, and each of them imparts different characteristics. So before you head to the stores, we are here to help you break down everything you need to know about the different types of wool fabric.

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Cashmere wool

There is nothing like feeling the gentle embrace of the fine cashmere against your skin. A layer of soft and cozy layer of cashmere wool can add extra comfort and warmth to your bed. The finest cashmere is obtained from the soft undercoat of the Mongolian goats during the molting season. It is the fine, white hairs that are present underneath their tough outer coat that keep these goats warm during winters. When the spring season arrives, the goats naturally shed this layer and are then collected, cleaned, and spun into yarns.

And the most highlighting part - cashmere wool is 50% lighter than ordinary wool. But, they cost way more than ordinary wool, and so the products made from this luxurious fiber are quite expensive. The yield per goat is probably low as the goats lose their fur only once a year and must be cared for all the other months.

Camel hair

A warm, luxurious, fine wool with a tan or golden brown color, camel hair is very soft wool used to make blankets, sweaters, and jackets. The best camel fiber is obtained from the two-humped Bactrian camels.

Natural camel wool

Camel hair is known for its thermostatic properties as it can protect and insulate the animal from extreme cold conditions and also from the scorching heat of the desert. The same qualities are transferred to the products made from camel hair.

Alpaca wool

Alpaca wool is a soft, lightweight, luxurious, fuzzy textured fabric harvested from an alpaca. Rare and in high demand, this type of wool comes in 22 natural colors, including black, brown, grey, and ivory.

Group of young alpacas

There are two well-known alpaca breeds - Suri alpacas, covered with silky and lustrous locks, and Huacaya that appear full and soft. In a year, an adult alpaca produces no more than 10 pounds of fiber per year.

Alpaca fiber is incredible in so many ways, and we are very far from the end of finding out all of its amazing features. We are listing some of the top characteristics of alpaca wool down here:

  • 100% natural
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dyes well
  • Soft
  • Lanolin free

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Angora wool

Do you know about the fluffy and luxurious fabric that comes from the fur of Angora rabbits? Yes, you heard it right. It’s the Angora wool! It has a very fine and thin diameter and has a fluffy effect of fur around each strand. Angora wool is soft like cashmere and Alpaca and can also be blended with other types of wool to increase softness and its signature halo.

Angora goat

There are five different types of Angora:

  1. English Angora
  2. Satin Angora
  3. French Angora
  4. German Angora
  5. Giant Angora

Merino wool

Merino wool is one the soft and finest wool that is suitable for bedding and home interiors. It is a natural fiber grown year-round by Merino sheep farms across Australia. Merino wool is softer than cashmere and smoother than silk.

Pieces of Australian merino wool

With the help of modern-day spinning technology and fiber treatments, this type of wool makes for outstanding fabrics that outstand materials like cotton or synthetics on all fronts.

Merino wool brings comfort and performance together in perfect harmony. When it’s hot, the merino fibers absorb the body’s moisture vapors and later evaporate them outside of the fabric – making you feel cool. And during winter, these moisture vapors condense inside the fiber, giving off heat, thereby keeping you warm.

Mohair wool

Made from the coats of the Angora goats, Mohair wool is one of the most prized natural fibers. Unlike other types of goats, this one is covered with shaggy hair. Mohair is softer and has a noticeable sheen and luster.

Mohair wool shawl

Wool often contains scales, and when they are washed at the wrong temperature, these scales fuse together to make an unsightly mess. In the case of mohair wool, the scales wool, however, is not fully developed. This means that the products made from this type of wool do not felt even if they are washed in an incorrect manner.

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If you are looking for the finest and softest wool fibers for bedding, pillows, and blankets, we would highly recommend you to go for the alpaca wool or merino wool.

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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.