Have you ever thought about where wool comes from? What are your knit hat, scarf or sweater made from? You probably know that there are many types of wool, and that it is produced from natural fiber. But were you aware of the fact that the wool used to knit a hat or coat doesn’t just come from sheep? In fact, it might come from goats, camels, oxen, alpacas, llamas and even rabbits. All these types of animals produce different kinds of fibers. Let’s look closer at each one.
Cashmere is made from the finest undercoat of high-altitude Cashmere goats. Cashmere is considered to be the most expensive wool in the world, because it is made of the finest, most luxurious fibers. Some people call cashmere a royal wool. It is not surprising that clothes made of this yarn bring the feeling of splendor to those who touch them. Manufacturers don’t clip goats in order to obtain this wool, but comb out the animals. The finest fibers of almost 3 goats are gathered to knit one cashmere hat or scarf. Another reason for this wool’s popularity comes from its exceptional tenderness, lightweight texture, and ability to keep its wearer warm. It also never causes an allergic reaction.
This wool is taken from the crest of Merino sheep and has very smooth structure. It consists of extremely thin and soft fluffy fibers. The fibers are rather long – about 3-4.5 inches – and create a warm knitted sheet, that is very elastic. It doesn’t irritate the most sensitive skin. As a result, merino wool is rather expensive.
As far back as the Middle Ages, Merino wool was already very highly valued. Today, Merinos are still regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep.That’s why a merino wool knit hat or scarf, especially one decorated with a fur pom pom, can cost a couple hundred dollars.
The Alpaca is a species similar to the llama, which rarely gives wool- usually only once a year. The Alpaca’s wool is unique because of its variety- the wool comes in 22 colors with more than 300 shades, from true blue to rose-grays!!! Alpaca fiber is similar in structure to sheep wool fiber.
Angora fiber comes from the silky white coat of the Angora rabbit. Angora is popular because it is soft, fluffy, and also easily died.
This wool is produced from Angora goats’ hair. Mohair is a luxurious natural fiber that is twisted into light, silky yarn. It preserves a special shine even after dying. The knitted sheet is very tight and long lasting.
This wool is made of Alaskan domesticated musk ox hair. It is much more warmer than sheep wool, but is not as tender as cashmere.
This wool is made from camels’ undercoat, which consist of fine and soft fibers. The camel yarn is usually used in knitting blankets and overclothes. Coats made of camel hair can worn out quickly in spite of its thickness. Baby camel’s hair is much softer and can be used for accessories or sweaters.