As winter season looms, so to do the thoughts of rugging up under warmer clothes, cosy woollen clothing, hot chocolate by the fire and long mornings spent under the warmth of bed covers.
The thought of our disappearing summer means a switch in our wardrobes and a desire to be prepared for whatever bitter weather comes around. Woollen clothing is one of the most sought after winter fabrics, it retains heat well while still allowing our skin to breathe. Wool has several characteristics that other fibers simply can’t compete with. Water resistant, naturally odour resistant and breathable, wool is one of nature’s best insulating materials, hence the reason it has been made into clothing for centuries.
When selecting clothes for warmth and durability, it’s important to look at the quality of the wool. The quality is determined by fibre diameter, crimp, yield, color, and staple strength. The better quality wool you buy, the longer it should last (in theory). In addition to clothing, wool has been used as a versatile item around the house for years. As well as being used for insulation and carpets, wool is fabulous for blankets, rugs, bedding and throws.
Wool can be sourced from a number of different animals, most commonly sheep, however it also comes from goat, camel and rabbit. The fleece from each animal is different and therefore every woollen fabric has its own unique properties.
The most common and traditional wool that can be made from any sheep fleece.
Merino wool is also taken from the sheep. Merino wool has a fine, soft appearance and is more expensive than the standard sheep wool. Merino wool is more resistant to pilling therefore tends to last longer than other wool made clothing. Shop our Merino styles.
This is wool from the goat. Mohair wool isn’t as commonly used in clothing as it’s often a little too itchy against the skin.
Wool from the Angora rabbit is known for its fluffy surface texture and soft touch. Angora is often blended with nylon to improve fabric stability.
Cashmere is a soft and luxurious fabric. The fibres that are used to make cashmere come from specific areas of the fleece of a cashmere goat. This is an expensive and highly sought after wool. Shop our Cashmere styles.
Made from the hair of Peruvian alpacas, alpaca wool is lustrous and silky soft. It is warmer than usual wool, not prickly or itchy against the skin as well as being hypoallergenic.
Taking care of your woollen clothing
Natural fibres are, nine times out of ten, a lot more desirable than the man-made equivalents. Cotton, silk and wool look and feel better than nylons and polyesters, and they wear better in the long run too. These textiles however are not quite as hassle-free as their synthetic counterparts. Wool in particular requires care and attention to keep it in tip top shape. You can generally keep your woollen clothing in pretty good knick with regular brushing (to remove any pilling), quick action on stains, using shapely hangers and drying garments correctly. However, as with all clothing, when you’ve worn your woollens to the end of their life, you will need to update your closet.
This season’s wool trend
When light sweaters with a vest overlay simply isn’t going to cut it anymore, a woolen coat is an absolute no brainer, or otherwise a coatigan. You may have never heard of the term “coatigan” before, but you already know all about the trend. The coatigan is the slouchy and softer version of the more structured coat. Think about what you’d get if you were to combine a cardigan with a coat. Coatigans are the perfect jacket for the transitional period into cooler winter temperatures. Cozy enough to keep you toasty, but lightweight enough for the not-quite-freezing conditions. Another way to mix things up is to try a woollen poncho or cape – a stylish alternative to a woollen coat. Don’t forget to add in scarves and hats to add colour or texture to your outfit.
Shop the above styles: Capture Merino Jumper, Essentials Merino Slouchy V Neck, Capture Poncho, Capture Rollneck Tunic, Sara Lambswool Zip Front Cardigan, Sara Lambswool Crew Neck
Now that you’re well briefed on the different wool varieties, you’re sure to know exactly what will keep you cosy this winter! If a certain wool doesn’t seem to agree with you, there might be another that is more comfortable wearing. Having a few items of different woollen clothing allows you to change up your wardrobe with warmth a priority!