A fun one this Monday morning for the newbie woolies amongst us. Sometimes it seems like the wool world is some sort of super secret club with all these acronyms and terms. It's hard to understand what you're buying and what you're going to get arriving on your doorstep. So here are the ABCs of sustainable wool! Comment below if you think we need to swap a letter out or add more color to a description.
A is for Angora:
Angora wool comes from the Angora rabbit and is known for its softness, silky texture, and warmth. It's often blended with other fibers for luxurious garments. Among ethical concerns for the welfare and safety of rabbits, there is a recent drive for ethical angora production.
B is for Baselayers:
Baselayers are the first layer of clothing worn directly against the skin and a bestseller for The Green Kid. When it comes to wool, baselayers are prized for their natural moisture-wicking properties, keeping you warm and dry in various climates. Wool baselayers are breathable and regulate body temperature, making them ideal for outdoor activities. See GSM under "G" to understands the different weights baselayers come in.
C is for Carding:
Carding is the process of combing and aligning wool fibers to prepare them for spinning. It helps create a smoother and more consistent yarn.
D is for Dyeing:
Dyeing is the process of adding color to wool fibers. It can be done at various stages of wool processing, allowing for a wide range of colors and patterns. At The Green Kid, the majority of our wool uses plant based dyes.
E is for Elastane:
Elastane, also known as spandex or Lycra, is sometimes blended with wool to add stretch and flexibility to garments.
F is for Fineness:
Fineness refers to the diameter of wool fibers. Finer fibers are generally softer, while coarser fibers may be more durable.
G is for GSM (Grams per Square Meter):
GSM is a measurement used to indicate the weight of a fabric. In the context of wool, a higher GSM generally means a denser and warmer fabric. Understanding GSM can help you choose the right wool garment for the desired level of warmth and thickness. We sell 160GSM and 250GSM weights. See here for a reel on the topic.
H is for Hanks:
Hanks are loops or coils of yarn, often used as a standard unit for selling or measuring yarn.
I is for Interlock:
Interlock refers to a type of knit fabric where the stitches interweave closely, creating a smooth and double-sided material. Interlock wool is known for its stretchiness and excellent drape, making it a popular choice for comfortable and stylish garments.
J is for Jute:
Jute is a plant fiber sometimes blended with wool to create interesting textures in fabrics.
K is for Kemp:
Kemp refers to coarse and brittle fibers in wool that are less desirable. Proper breeding and processing aim to minimize kemp in wool products.
L is for Lanolize:
Lanolizing involves treating wool with lanolin, a natural oil found in sheep's wool, to make it water-resistant. This process is often used for cloth diaper covers and wool garments.
M is for Merino:
Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is highly prized for its softness, warmth, and fine fibers. At The Green Kid we sell merino wool baselayers and merino and cashmer blend accessories.
N is for Napping:
Napping is a finishing process that raises the surface fibers of a wool fabric, creating a soft and fuzzy texture.
O is for Organic:
Organic wool is produced using environmentally friendly and sustainable farming practices, avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Look out for the GOTS certification for organic products.
P is for Pilling:
Pilling occurs when short fibers on the surface of wool fabric tangle together, forming small balls or pills. Quality wool and proper care can minimize pilling although piling can also vary depending on which batch of wool a product was made from.
Q is for Quilting:
Quilting involves stitching layers of wool fabric together with padding in between to create a warm and often decorative textile.
R is for Roving:
Roving is a long, narrow bundle of fibers, often used as a precursor to spinning yarn.
S is for Shearing:
Shearing is the process of removing wool from sheep. It's typically done once a year and is essential for the well-being of the sheep.
T is for Tweed:
Tweed is a woolen fabric known for its rough, unfinished texture and often characterized by a mixture of colors.
U is for Undercoat:
The undercoat is the soft, insulating layer of wool closest to the skin of an animal. It's often finer and softer than the outer coat.
V is for Vicuña:
Vicuña wool comes from the vicuña, a South American camelid. It's one of the rarest and most expensive natural fibers, known for its softness and warmth.
W is for Worsted:
Worsted is a type of wool yarn or fabric made from long-staple fibers that are combed to lay them parallel. It results in a smooth and fine-textured material.
X is for Xenogeneic Fibers:
Xenogeneic fibers are fibers obtained from sources other than animals, plants, or minerals. In the context of wool, this could include synthetic blends.
Y is for Yarn:
Yarn is a continuous strand of fibers used for knitting, weaving, or crocheting. Wool yarn is popular for its warmth and versatility.
Z is for Zwartbles:
Zwartbles is a breed of sheep known for its black fleece with distinctive white markings. The wool is valued for its rich color and softness.
Any questions on any of the above? Let us know below!