True wool allergies are very rare. The most wool allergies are actually a reaction to wool alcohols, which are ingredients in lanolin. If you have an allergic reaction (eg. a rash on face) to cosmetics that contain lanolin, you'll also have a problem with raw wool. Far more common than a wool allergy is skin irritation. Many people with sensitive skin feel uncomfortable wearing wool, but they do not have a true allergic reaction. Merino wool is hypoallergenic what means it is safe to use around babies with their sensitive skin.
It depends on your skin’s sensitivity level and, more important, on the thickness of wool fiber. Modern wool fibers range from a fine 16 microns in diameter to 35 microns (one micron is one-millionth of a meter). The fine wool fibers are so thin that they are well below the human itching threshold of 25 μm. The smaller the diameter, the finer, softer and more expensive the fabric will be. The most luxury fibers are 15-18 μm merino wool fibers. Conventional merino fibres have an average fineness of 19 to 24 μm, and most popular Polish woll fiber is ca 25-28 μm.
Wool is the fiber derived from the fur of certain animals, principally sheeps but the hair of goats, alpacas, and rabbits are also called wool. Cashmere is a wool obtained from the Cashmere goat, mohair is made from the hair of the Angora goat and angora wool is delivered by Angora rabbits. There is also a camel wool and alpaca wool. Hoewever the most wool in fashion industry comes from sheeps. There are hundreds of different types and breeds of sheep. The most recognizable wool in the fashion industry is merino wool which comes from Australia. The other leader countries producing sheep wool are: China, New Zealand, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, Great Britain and Pakistan.
Wool is naturally elastic, and wool garments have the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer, but then they are able to return to their previous shape. Pilling can happen on garments made of all sorts of fibres including 100% synthetic. Wool pilling is is quite common and natural process. Washing your clothes inside out will help prevent pilling from occurring and investing in an electric de-piller will help safely remove them. Sheep wool is highly regarded for its ability to felt. Felting is the wool characteristic that causes your wool item to shrink each time you wash it in warm or hot water and subject it to to rough treatment (ie the washing machine ). It is very important to follow the washing instructions for wool items.
Wool is a healthiest and smartest moisture barier and heat regulator in fashion industry. It is both moisture repellent and moisture absorbent. If you sweat, wool absorbs it but the moisture is absorbed to the core of the fibers and we don’t feel the wetness. If it is humid outside wool absorbs moisture and it feels dry to the touch leaving skin feeling comfortable.
Due to its thermal efficiency sheep wool is perfect for all-year-round clothing. When it is hot, fibers absorb your body’s moisture vapors and evaporate them outside of the fabric – keeping you nice and cool. When it is cold, it keeps the heat in as moisture vapors condense inside the fiber, giving off heat and keeping you nice and warm.
Wool is your best choice if you want to reduce static electricity of your garments. Wool is naturally anti-static in contrary to the synthetic materials, eg acrylic. You do not have to use anti-static spray on your hair when wearing wool beanie. Wool also doesn’t attracts dirt and dust so much what makes it much cleaner for longer than sythetic fibers.
It is a fact that wool is a delicate fibre and needs to be cleaned with special attention. You can not just put your favourite wool sweater to a washing machine and then tumble it dry. Nevertheless with a little care, your woolens will last for generations. Due its antistatic property wool fiberts are not attracting dirt and dust so much therefore it doesn’t have to be cleaned too often. The best way to refresh your woolens is the natural way: simply shake and hang them outdoors. Dry cleaning is recommended for wool. Although recent innovations mean wool items are no longer hand-wash only. You can hand wash them in cold water with a mild cleaning detergent designed for wool. Hand wash does not mean the gentle or hand wash cycle in a washing machine. Line dry and rotate the woolen to prevent stretching. Iron only on low, only if necessary. Do not ever bleach wool.
In fact some wool providers in Australia were mulesing sheep in the past. Mulesing is a practice that involves removing skin from around the animal's buttocks to prevent infestation by fly larvae. This practise has been strongly rejected by the public opinion and leading fashion retailers threatened to boycott Australian wool from sheep farmers who use this controversial practice. Mulesing is cruel and inhumane. woolbyAnn buys wool only from suppliers who declare that their wool comes from non-mulsed sheep.