We’ve been talking about wool and cashmere and acrylic, but what do exactly these words mean? I was taught at school that wool comes from sheep – but it can come from rabbits, camels, and goats as well, apparently. Every men’s sweaters wholesaler offers sweaters made of all sorts of materials… though synthetic fibers are probably the most popular these days. Well, without further ado, here’s a simple guide to various sorts of wool and other animal fibers available on the market.
Alpaca: Alpacas are llama-like mammals from the Andes. Mountain animals typically have nice soft fur, and humans long have learned to use it for clothes. Alpaca wool is usually softer, shinier and more delicate than sheep’s wool, and it keeps you warm. But alpacas are rarer than sheep, and so it’s more expensive. Technically, alpaca is not wool, but hair… which only makes them warmer.They individual empty inside, like polar bear’s fur!
Angora: Angora rabbits have long hair, that need to be plucked. It’s a luxurious, long fiber that creates the characteristic “halo” effect. Angora is too soft and too delicate to stand on its own, so it needs to be mixed with other wools. Since men avoid it, no men’s sweaters wholesaler will offer one!
Cashmere: Cashmere doesn’t have to come from Kashmir region, but it does have to come from mountain goats. It’s a luxurious, fine, delicate fiber. High-grade cashmere is sometimes called pashmina. Sadly, cashmere is very expensive and requires maintenance.
Mohair: Mohair is also a kind of goat fiber, but coming from the Middle-Eastern sheep-like angora goat. Mohair is characteristically soft and fuzzy. It, too is favored by women!
Now, let’s move to wool and sheep. But not all sheep are made equal. Here are some particularly luxurious examples of sheep wool.
Lambs wool: Wool of the young sheep is very delicate and soft. If you remember that your woolen sweaters were itchy, lambs wool can remedy that.
Icelandic wool: The harsher the climate, the better the wool – and Icelandic sheep are one of the world’s oldest breeds, having evolved to survive many centuries of harsh Iceland winters. Their wool has a soft, insulating inner layer and is also water resistant.
Merino wool: Merinos these days are mostly bred in Australia and New Zealand. This wool is soft, very fine and often used for sweaters.