Fabric Fact Friday - WoolFriday, March 06, 2009
Thank you all for the great response for my first installment of Fabric Fact Friday! Regarding quality in knits I can only second what others have said, the challenge is to find the good stuff. I'm having a lab day later this month, so I'll ask the teacher if he can give some hints on how to spot good quality knits. Meanwhile here comes some interesting facts that I've learned about wool.
- Wool fibers are very elastic and have great recovery. Actually only lycra and nylon are better than wool when it comes to keeping it's shape. That makes me think that wool/lycra blends must be like a super fabric.
- The reason wool is so warm is because the fibers are crimped. The crimps creates little air pockets that when filled with air gives a fantastic thermal effect.
- It takes wool combed from 30 kashmir goats during one season in order to get enough fabric for one coat. This explains why cashmere is so expensive.
- Wool from the merino sheep is softer and warmer than other wools, but the fibers are shorter and it's less resilient and wears out quicker, so that's a definitely a trade off when choosing merino wool.
- Worsted wool refers to long wool fibers that are ring-spun in a particular way. Worsted wool is generally of better quality than regular wool fabric.
- Washing wool at home can be problematic since the wool starts to felt when it comes in contact with water. This is the best way to hand wash wool according to my textbook:
- Low temperatures of course, not higher than 30 degrees Celsius, or just below lukewarm.
- Use detergent made espicially for hand laundering wool.
- The garment should be immersed in water a very short time, just enough to remove the soil.
- Gently squeeze the fabric, don't rub or twist!
- After washing roll the garment into a towel and press out the moisture, then dry the garment on a flat surface.
- Wool deactivates the smell of sweat, which is why it's takes longer for wool than synthetics to become smelly.