18 types of wool fabric

Contrary to what most people think, different types of wool are sourced from other animals besides sheep. The wool fabric types sourced from different animals have unique qualities featuring a specific appearance and feel.

Manufacturers use natural fibres found in the fleece of animals such as rabbits, sheep, goats, camels, and more to create various types of wool fabric and after wool clothes. Fleece, a raw material, consists of keratin-based proteins that make the wool types remarkable. The raw material is elastic and can be used differently to achieve desired results.

One thing that makes wool one of the most popular textiles worldwide is that they have superior insulation properties that hold heat, enabling you to keep warm. This is why most people prefer making garments using different types of wool — and help keep them warm during winter. Also, wool is multifunctional, tough, and long-lasting. It can manufacture lightweight, soft, coarse, and heavy sheep wool.

18 types of wool fabric

Australia is responsible for 25% of the world's wool production, while China and the U.S. produce 18% and 17% of types of sheep wool, respectively. New Zealand also makes up 11% of the world's wool production.

World's Top Wool Producing Countries

So whether you need to keep warm or create soft and stylish clothes, there are varieties of wool that can solve all your needs. This blog post delves deeper into different types of wool fabric that you can use for various needs. Look and learn more about each of them.

18 Types of Wool Explained
18 Types of Wool Explained

18 Types of Wool Explained

Here are the most popular types of wools you should know:

1. Alpaca wool

Alpaca wool, a medium-weight type of wool, can be worked in different ways to make coats, blankets, lining for outerwear, and bedspreads. Alpaca wool is made from two types of Alpaca breeds: Suri, the silkiest, and Huacaya fleece, which is thicker. Therefore, Suri can be used in woven material, while Huacaya fleece can be used in knit fabrics.

2. Camel hair wool

Camel hair wool is a luxurious wool type because of its warmth and natural golden brown shade of colour. Combining this wool with other less expensive wool types gives it a much softer feel, making it more affordable. The popularity of camel hair coats can be traced back to the 1920s when polo players used them. Even now, camel's soft wool type is used to make coats and other apparel.

3. Merino wool

This wool is cultivated from the merino sheep in Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. Merino wool is a soft wool type that possesses extreme body temperature regulation.
If you’re looking for the softest wool that can suit your various needs, merino wool is a favourite choice. This luxurious wool makes up for 1% of the world’s fibre for apparel. Its shine and luxurious look makes it the finest and trendy fabric for vintage bedding and clothing.

4. Angora Wool

This type of wool sourced from Angora rabbits is soft and fluffy. It's among the most popular types of wool with superior moisture-wicking ability and insulation capability. Products made from Angora wool are stylish and warm. Angora wool should be your preferred choice if you're looking for the warmest wool.

5. Cashmere wool

Cashmere wool is one of the most luxurious of the different types of wool fabric. It features higher levels of natural crimp, making it one of the softest and most lightweight types of wool.

6. Melton wool

If you're seeking the best type of wool on the market, Melton wool should be your top consideration because of its strength, durability, and warmth. While it contains thick wool fibres, it can also be woven into a twill-type weave.

7. Lambswool

Often known as virgin wool, lamb's wool is one of the softest types available on the market. It's sourced from a baby's sheep only a few months old.

8. Worsted Wool

Worsted wool is one of the most expensive types of wool because it's high-quality. It's made from sheep's wool and is considered a more robust and versatile type of wool than its counterparts.

9. Mohair wool

Mohair wool is one of the most durable types of wool that drapes well. Often, people wove it into a plain weave and use it to make dresses, baby clothing, scarves, sweaters, and more because of its heat insulation capability.

10. Woollen wool

Woollen wool is a wool home-spun yarn made from soft, stretchy, and lightweight carded wool. It possesses superior insulation properties, making it an excellent choice for knitting.

11. Shetland wool

This type of wool is sourced from sheep in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. It’s perfect for knitting something because it’s soft and durable. Besides being lightweight and warm, it comes in different natural colours compared to other types of wool.

12. Tropical wool

Tropical wool is one of the coolest wools that are a perfect choice for the hot weather. It’s sourced from merino wool and has extreme thermal management properties. It's elegant, versatile, breathable, and cool to the skin.

13. Recycled wool

It's often known as "reclaimed wool" because it's a type of wool used to make a specific product and repurposed to create a new product. The wool undergoes a recycling process to tear and repun it, lowering its quality. Therefore, you can purchase clothing or other items made from recycled wool at lower prices.

14. Raw wool

Raw wool is a wool type that exists in its natural form—meaning that it has not been processed or refined. It comes from the varieties of animals mentioned above.

15. Boiled wool

Wools are knitted together to create a sheet of thick, uniform material known as boiled wool. The process involves placing a wool thread on a loom and feeding it into a large weaving machine to achieve various colours.

16. Felted wool

Felted wool is a type of wool sourced from animals such as sheep and goats. The wool fibres are then cleaned and undergo a carding process to break up the jumbled clumps of wool fibre, realigning them for various uses.

17. Sheep wool

The reason why sheep always manage to survive through harsh cold is because of their warm wools. Sheep wool has fibres that trap tiny air pockets that create an insulation layer that keeps the sheep warm and dry in cold weather. This makes sheep wool an excellent choice for people looking to keep themselves and homes warm. It’s a popular type of wool fabric available in the market.

18. Vicuna wool

Vicuna wool is the softest and most refined wool, making it the most expensive wool in the market. You can find it for a price of between $1,300 and $3,000 per yard. Because it’s the rarest wool available, the Peruvian government keeps strict guidelines on the harvest and exportation of Vicuna wool.