Lessons in Fabric – Wool

archivecoatpendletonPendleton Scappoose Overshirt

The first animal fibre to be woven.

Flexible. Resilient. Insulative. Hygienic. Sometimes water-repellant.

Much is owed to what the humble wool sheep has done for mankind. My recent discoveries about the organic compound rich in keratin compels me to extend an appreciation towards what many of our itchy sweaters are made of.

Prior to spinning, fibre from sheared sheep is categorized into classes based on micron count, color and feel, breed of sheep and end purpose of the fabric. The micron count is most principal in class determination as it is the diameter of the fibre which indicates how fine the fabric willbe when woven.

I’ve been keen on garments made of 100% virgin wool lately, which means the fibre hasn’t been previously processed. There’s nothing like pure new wool fresh from the sheep’s coat, regardless of whether the difference in noticeable to the naked eye and hand. Then we enter the luxury wool realm, where lambswool is fine and soft and merino is soft and supple, of the Australian or French sheep.


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