Natural wool fabrics are the best. They retain warmth while letting air through, keeping you warm and comfortable. They repel dirt and are easily cleaned. They do not wrinkle and the creases get smoothed out by themselves. These fabrics are light, soft, stylish and attractive. Fashion designers describe them as having “comfortable elegance.”
Mentionwool and most people think of sheep wool (wo), although fabric manufacturers use wool fromother animals, too: llamas, goats, lambs, camels and even Angora rabbits. Wool fabrics from these animals provide for a very comfortable wearing experience, they look aesthetically pleasing and expensive and belong to the elite class of fabrics. The largest suppliers of elite wool come from Australia and New Zealand, while Italy is a major producer of luxury fabrics.
Elite-class wool comes in the following varieties:
CASHMERE is the delicate undercoat of Cashmere mountain goats in the region of Tibet and the province of Cashmere between India and Pakistan. Cashmere goats are also bred in Australia, New Zealand and Scotland.
Cashmere is an elegant, chic, trendy, sophisticated and, for good reason, the most expensive kind of fabric. It has been rightfully called “Royal Yarn”, “Woolen Diamond” and “Precious Thread”.
Cashmere yarn consists of threads that are only 13-19 μm thick (a human hair is 50 μm thick), so the Cashmere yarn is very pleasant to the touch. Cashmere yarn is so delicate that whatever shade it is dyed, the yarn color looks hazy, very pleasant to the eye.
The yarn is obtained not by shearingbut by combing the goat by hand once a year, in spring, during the moulting period. One goat produces just 100-200 grams of yarn, while to make just one coat some 1.5-1.8 kg of cashmere yarn is needed. Thus, 15 goats must be combed to get enough yarn for one coat. This is one of the reasons for the very high price of 100% cashmere products. Another reason for the popularity and high cost of cashmere is its exceptional softness, lightness, warmth and the fact that it does not cause any allergic reactions.
The popularity of cashmere is constantly growing. Today, buyers choose cashmere as the best kind of fabric on the market. It is very expensive, but the exceptional comfort that cashmere fabric creates attracts more and more fans of this fabric all over the world.
ALPACA is a type of llama. Alpacas live in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of 4000-5000 m in extreme weather conditions (bright sunlight, cold wind, sudden changes in temperature).
Alpacas are rare animals, and their wool is expensive. Alpacas, unlike sheep, are shorn only once a year, and each animal yields just 3-3.5 kg of wool.
Alpaca fur has exceptional properties:
No other type of wool has such properties. All of the above properties make alpaca wool products comfortable to wear, creating a special aesthetic and physical experience. SURI ALPACA. There are two breeds of Alpaca: HUAKAYA and SURI.
Huakaya is the majority breed. The animal looks like a furry teddy bear. In most cases when people think of Alpaca, they think of the Hyakaya breed.
Suri is a very rare breed (with only about 120 000head - 5% of all Alpacas) and much more valuable (twice as valuable as Huakaya).
Compared to Huakaya, Suri yarn is longer and thinner (19-25 µm), consists of uniform and lush ringlets, straight alongthe length and slightly curled at the ends. The yarn does not contain top hairs, which increases its quality.
Suri wool is very soft and delicate. In days gone by, only royals could wear things made of Suri wool.
BABY SURI ALPACA. Depending on the thickness of the fiber, Alpaca wool is sorted into five quality categories.
The highest quality wool is "BABY" wool (20 μm thickness). With Suri wool, the BABY SURI ALPACA variety is the best, most rare and expensive, of the best quality among all kinds of wool in the world.
ANGORA is the down of Angora rabbits.
When Turkey increased the price of Angora goat wool, China produced its own variety of Angora yarn, very soft and inexpensive. As it turned out, it was made fromthe down of wild Angora rabbits. After that, the Turks started referring to Angora goat wool as “mohair”, which in Arabic means “the chosen one”.Subsequently, Angora rabbits were bred in Europe and the United States.
Angora rabbits are the most charming of all rabbits: they resemble animated stuffed toys. Today, there are five breeds of Angora rabbits bred industrially across the world: English, French, German, Giant and Satin. They vary in size and weight (2.5-5.5 kg), length of down, thickness of top hair, color hue and the amount of wool obtained from one animal per year (0.4 -1.3 kg).
Angora wool is very soft, warm and tender, with a gentle fluff.
Products made of Angora wool are very comfortable to wear, andsoare very popular and always in high demand. However, Angora wool has its drawbacks: rabbit down is not strongly attached to the yarn and that may lead to rub-off of the fabric. Angora must be protected from extreme humidity and can only be dry cleaned. However, garments made of high-quality Angora wool can be worn for several years.
MERINO wool comes from the shoulder area of Merino sheep. Merino is a fine-woolen sheep breed from West Asia. Later they spread to countries of Western Europe, North America and Australia.
Today there are more than 150 million Merino sheep in Australia alone. Each sheep, on average, gives up to 15 kg of wool per year (other breeds of sheep give just 6-7 kg). Pure wool output is 35-45%.
Merino wool is homogeneous and consists of very thin (13.5-23 μm) and soft fluffy hairs (sheep with rough fleece have hair thickness of 23-35 μm). It is long (grows 6-8 cm per year), white, warm, with excellent thermostatic properties. Natural curls make it very springy. Importantly, it does not irritate the skin.
Merino sheep wool is more expensive than the wool of other breeds. The price of the best varieties of this wool (14-16 μm) at annual auctions reaches as much as several thousand dollars per kilogram.
MOHAIR is the wool of Angora goats that live in Turkey (in the province of Angora), South Africa and the United States. More than 60% of the world's mohair is produced in South Africa.
Mohair is a luxury type of natural wool. This is one of the warmest and most durable natural materials, very light and silky.
Its natural luster is strong and durable, and does not disappear after dyeing. No other wool has such long and exquisite hairs with long-lasting bright natural luster.
There are three main types of Mohair:
The wool of a young kid goat (under 6 months of age) (Kid Mohair), when the animal is shorn for the first time. The hairs are thin (23-27μm) and soft, 100-150 mm long. Kid Mohair of the best quality is called SuperKid - it is the thinnest and softest wool, silky and luxurious to the touch.
The wool of a kid goat up to 2 years of age (Goating Mohair), when the animal is shorn for the second time. It is also soft and thin.
Adult goats’ wool (Adult Mohair) is thicker (30 μm) and rougher than the rest.
The first two types of mohair are used for deluxe class yarn. Adult goat mohair is used, among other things, for making outerwear.
The wool of Angora goats is homogeneous and usually white, which is especially valuable because it canbe dyed any color, from soft pastel hues to very rich colors.
Dyed mohair looks bright and natural. Its natural luster does not disappear after dyeing, and the dye does not come off or fade for many years.
Products made of mohair must be treated gently and with care. To prevent creases, put them on hangers, keep away from sources of heat, and dry at room temperature. Mohair articles must be dry-cleaned only. Dry-cleaning mohair may shorten the article’s usefullife.
LLAMAS, like alpacas, come from Peru. Llamas have long been used as pack animals. Today, some llamas have thin, elastic wool, whileothers have very rough hairs. Before being shorn or frilled, llamas must be inspected. The llama wool is a kind of protein fiber that does not contain natural oils or lanolin. Llama wool has a full structure and consists of two layers: top protective hair and undercoat (fluff). The top hair is thick and does not twist. It accounts for up to 20% of the total. The undercoat is soft and luxurious, 20-40 μm thick. It is used for manufacturing luxury clothes. When the animal is shorn, both layers are taken off, and the wool is cleaned of top hairs. Brushing produces only the undercoat. After processing, the llama wool retains 90-93% of itsoriginal weight. Llama wool comes in many varieties, and a particular variety must be used for a particular kind of product.
Llama wool is light and soft, and will keep you warm and comfortable over a wide range of temperatures.
It does not cause allergic reactions, repels water, and unlike other types of wool, regulates moisture content in the range suited to humans.
Llama wool comes in an exceptional variety of natural colors: white, ash-pink, light brown, gray or silvery to dark brown and black. White wool is ideal for dyeing. Only natural dyes are used for dyeing.