The general perception is that wool itches. Is it true? If so, how did Andy Murray play the entire Wimbledon tournament wearing pure wool outfits?
The answer, we guess, lies in the selection of wool, and the way it is spun, processed and woven/ knitted.
Broadly speaking, fine wools don’t itch. Wools being natural fibres, have different diameters (specified in terms of microns). Fine wools of about less than 22 microns don’t seem to cause the prickly sensation. Merino wools are available in such fine microns and even super fine microns like 17 microns. The other is the length of the fibre. Shorter fibres protrude from the surface and can be sensitive to the skin. The longer the fibre, the better it is.
Next, of course, is the way of spinning. Different spinning processes align the fibres in the yarns in different ways. For example, the woollen spinning process while giving the much-needed loft for insulation also exposes more fibre ends from the surface, making it less friendly to the skin than the more uniformly spun semi-worsted or worsted yarns. Then come the chemicals and treatment processes used in washing and dyeing. Finally, the way it is woven or knitted. While a close-knit or woven fabric is super good for protection from harsh winter, it can also be sensitive to certain skin types. A slightly open construction can breathe easier and is less prone to causing itches.
The technology of wool fibre selection, spinning and processing have evolved so much that the latest research recommends wearing superfine merino wool garments for treating eczema!
Wool is a wonder fibre which breathes and stabilizes the temperature and humidity levels next to the skin.
So, choose your wools wisely and enjoy the lovely gift from mother nature!
We carry some well-processed and beautiful wools from Ashford New Zealand including machine-washable soft merino wools. Check out the collection and make your choice.