Only the best grades of wool are suitable for high-quality clothing. How do clothiers tell one wool from another? Here are five helpful terms from the insider’s view of the famous fiber.
- Virgin wool has never been spun before. (Spun wool can be deconstructed and blended with new fibers.)
- Lambs wool comes from a sheep’s first shearing, at around 7 months of age. It’s finer than wool from an older sheep.
- Merino wool comes from Merino sheep, prized for fine, soft, high-quality wool.
- Australia is the world’s wool leader, producing 475 million kg of raw wool each year – 25% of total wool produced.
- A micron measures wool fiber diameter. The lower the micron, the finer the wool. Merino wool ranges from 10 to 25 microns. Wool thicker than 25 microns is not usually made into clothing.
- A fleece is the wool from one shearing of one sheep.