Why use wool all year round
Why use wool? Because wool is an excellent insulator and is a very good shield both from the cold and from the heat.
Since ancient times humans have utilized this fiber to protect themselves to the climate; from the coldest areas in Asia to the hottest zones in Africa, wool has always been a common denominator; just think about the desert population (Tuareg) who wear woollen garments to help withstand the highest temperatures. his choice is not crazy, but is the result of millenary experience that has the roots in the beginning of time; in fact, wool has some charateristics which make it unique, below we can look at these in more detail.
The fiber charateristics
If we examine a woollen fiber under the microscope we will discover the resemblance to snakeskin. The external structure is in fact made by overlapping keratin scales , this is a fibrous protein substance, exactly as our hair; Beneath the external structure there is another strong layer, known as bricks and concrete, because it resembles the structure of a wall; some types of wool, have a very porous internal center under the outer layers, in this case the fiber is lighter and softer.
Wool is the most hygroscopic fiber, in the world, in fact it is able to absorb one third of its weight in vapour, without giving the feeling of being wet; this is because wool is composed of amino acids, which are able to trap the water molecules inside the fiber. When the weather is hot and humid or when a body sweats intensely, wool absorbs the humidity and releases it into the environment; this process in which wool absorbs sweat and transfers it to the outside is called thermoregulation.
In the same way a woollen garment when worn in cold weather, starts to absorb the body’s humidity increasing its own temperature by 2 – 3 degrees; this action delays for some hours the cooling of the fabric, allowing the body to adapt to the new temperature. Wool has a great capacity to absorb vapour but not water, (because water has a bigger molecular structure) so, wool is waterproof; this is due to the lanolin, (which is the natural grease which covers the wool fibers)
Thermal insulation of fabric is due to the amount of air trapped between its fibers: the more air the bigger the insulation; the average amount of air trapped in non woollen fabrics is 75% in wool fabrics it increases to 90%. The scales of the wool fiber give it a certain roughness and its interstices increase the surface area enabling the wool to retain a large quanity of air; for this reason sheep remain indifferent to the heat but also to the cold and this explains why the desert people prefer to wear woollen garments. Wool possesses another very important quality it is almost fireproof. It is very difficult to burn and the flame does not spread easily, creating little heat and smoke; this explains why wool is used to cover furniture in many planes, trains, coaches cinemas and public buildings.
Why use wool in sportswear
Recently, wool has been re-discovered in the world of sportswear, after the market has been flooded for many years with synthetic fibers; in fact, given its natural characteristics ,wool is the ideal fabric for garments for those who run or take part in marathons. Apart from the above-mentioned chararcteric the thermoregulation wool has another strange very positive attribute unlike synthetic fibers it does not retain the smell, very beneficial if you have to wear the garment for a long period of time or consecutive days! Here are the reasons why use wool