Where does wool come from

Wool, what is that actually?


One differentiates primarily between animal and vegetable wool. Animal wool is the soft hair of the fur of an animal, especially sheep, but also, for example, goats, camels or Angora rabbits.

The best-known vegetable wool is cotton, but you can also process flax (linen), sisal, hemp and jute into yarn. After this Textile Labeling Act a product is only labeled with wool if it comes from animal fur. That is why we limit ourselves in the following to sheep wool, alpaca wool, angora wool, cashmere wool or mohair wool.

Where does wool come from?

The animal natural fiber is a renewable raw material which is obtained by shearing the animals, which is why one also speaks of new wool or sheep's wool. As a rule, a sheep is sheared once or twice a year. Depending on the region in which the animals live, the fibers have e.g. higher thermal properties on. The colder and more adverse the temperatures the animals live in, the denser it is fine downy hair a goat or a sheep and therefore has better warmth properties of the wool. Here you will find the different types of wool Listed by species and origin:

Merino wool

Merino wool is from Merino sheep which probably originated in Spain Has. Merinos are grown in many countries today, but New Zealand now supplies the largest proportion of merino wool.

Mohair wool

Mohair wool comes from the Angora goat and belongs to the noble wools, because it has a higher density than sheep's wool and is lighter. The exact origin of the angora goat is not known, but it is thought to be from Central Asia could come from. Today South Africa supplies the largest proportion of mohair wool from the angora goat.

Angora wool

As angora wool, the wool is dated Angora rabbits and not from the angora goat, as one might suspect at first. The rabbit's name probably derives from that Turkish province of Angorawhere it probably originated. Today almost 90% of angora wool comes from China. If you want to spin angora wool, you can simply buy the angora goat wool. The angora wool price in Germany is around 20 euros per kilogram. However, an angora wool sweater costs an average of € 150. Would you like products from Wash angora wool, then better by hand washing and no higher than at a temperature of 30 degrees. Because angora wool is one of the finest types of wool in the world.

Yak wool

The wool of Yak cattle has particularly high thermal properties, because yaks have to be in Himmalaya Defy temperatures of -40 ° C. Yak wool is obtained by combing or shearing the animals. Around 1000 tons are extracted annually worldwide, with the main suppliers being China, Nepal and Mongolia.

Alpaca wool

alpaca are small South American camels found mainly in the To the live where they are exposed to extreme weather conditions at 5000m. Alpacas are now bred around the world, but the majority of alpaca wool still comes from Peru.

Cashmere wool

Cashmere wool is the name of the wool of the Cashmere goat which lives in the high mountains of Asia. Today are among the most important producing countries China and the Mongolia. Each goat only supplies around 100-150 g of wool per year, which in turn is reflected in the price of the high-quality wool.

How much wool does a sheep give per year?

A sheep needs to be sheared at least once a year, and best of all in the spring. The shear is not only necessary to collect the fiber, but also helps to free the sheep from the fur. In the summer, that much fur could actually be used Overheating to lead. There are also breeds in which the sheepskin grows back quickly and these have to be shorn twice a year. The normal domestic sheep delivers depending on its size 3 - 6 kg Wool per shear or per year. There are breeds that produce up to 10 kg of wool per sheep.

Which sheep has the best wool?

Today's sheep breeds are the result of years of breedingwhich had the purpose of refining, lengthening and thickening the wool. The best wool is definitely one of them Merino wool, because the sheep have the finest wool hair, which is also without exception Uniformity and elasticity shine. The best wool should grow on the shoulders and sides of the sheep. For a long time the high-quality wool could only be obtained from Spain, which is why it was named Spanish wool. It was not until the 18th century that the sheep were also introduced to other countries.

Which is the best wool?

The cashmere wool of the cashmere goat is one of the most expensive and best want. The best cashmere quality is obtained from the regions around Nepal and Tibet, because the temperature conditions there are particularly harsh. The goats sometimes have to withstand temperatures of - 40 ° C, which they can only cope with thanks to the high quality of their fur. The fine downy hair or undercoat is rather short, very soft and warm outstanding. The weight of cashmere wool is very low, which is why it is very comfortable to wear and is used for many textiles.

Which is the thickest wool?

Among the sheep species, the wool of the Heidschnucken counts as particularly coarse and thick, which is why it is particularly suitable for the Carpet manufacture is used. The coarse wool has almost no crimp, which is why the fibers keep slipping apart and are difficult to spin. The wool is very hard and scratchy, therefore rather unsuitable for clothing. At birth, the Heidschnucke lambs have black hair and only after the first shear do they get the typical shimmering gray fur.

Which is the warmest wool?

Alpaca wool is one of the warmest types of wool. It's even called the alpaca wool up to five times warmer is than normal sheep wool. There are also alpacas in a wide range of colors from pure white to deep black. So of course you get wool in different colors without artificial color additives. Alpaca wool is very soft and does not scratch the skin, which is why it is very suitable for clothing.

How do you recognize real wool?

The authenticity of materials is best demonstrated with the Firing test determine. Real wool burns very quickly and produces a yellowish-white flame. The smell is reminiscent of that Burn smell from human hair. After the burning process, only an easily friable ash remains. Synthetic fibers do not burn as easily and often have a sweet smell.

How can you wash wool? Which detergent for wool?

Wool should always be handled with care. Newer washing machines have special wool programsthat are particularly gentle. If the mechanical stress is too high, the fine wool fibers become entangled and the wool becomes matted. There are Wool detergentthat are better suited to the care needs of wool products. Always pay attention to the sewn care label and the laundry symbols.

What to do if wool is linting or if wool has shrunk?

If the wool is fluffy, a Impregnation spray help, but unfortunately usually leaves a slight odor. A common home remedy are Hair care productsthat are simply applied to the wool before the wash cycle. The wool becomes lint-free after one wash.

If, for example, a wool sweater has shrunk in, then you can wear it with one for the time being Soak hair care product. But be careful, the water is allowed not too hot and the wool must not remain in the water for too long. Then you rinse the sweater and carefully pull it back into shape. But if you look at the given care information lasts, wool is preserved for a long time.