Wool Buying Guide
Our fabulous blankets, throws, cushions, picnic blankets and rugs are made of a variety of wools. Here we help you understand the origin of those cosy, versatile fibres.
The alpaca is a charming, gentle creature and responsible for producing some of the softest, most luxurious fibre found in nature. Today there are around 4 million alpacas - the majority living 3000-5000 meters above sea level in the Andes in Southern Peru. Alpacas live in a very harsh climate, where temperatures can fluctuate from minus 25 degrees at night to 25 degrees during the day. These factors have the following effects:
- An alpaca’s fleece is sumptuously silky, smooth and super soft, due to the fibres being extremely fine and thin.
- Alpaca is the only fibre in the world that does not contain lanolin making it ideal for anyone with a wool allergy as it’s hypoallergenic.
- Alpaca fibre is hollow which makes it a great insulator. This lightweight product will keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer - hard to believe!
- The structure of alpaca fleece makes it more hard wearing than other wool fibres, so you can rest assured your products will last for many years to come or may be forever.
- As opposed to sheep wool, the alpaca fibres are smooth resulting in minimum pilling.
The alpaca is a real treasure of Peru; it has learnt to adapt to a habitat of extreme conditions. Our So Cosy products are made using the highest quality alpaca fibres and combine the use of modern technology with the experience of Peruvian craftsmen.
Lambswool and Pure New Wool
Lambswool is soft, elastic and slippery. In order to be classified as lambswool, fibres must be shorter than 50mm from the sheep’s first shearing at the age of seven months.
Lambswool is an excellent insulator and ventilator, meaning it will keep you both warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is one of the most durable and flexible fibres found in nature. Wool fibres have a waxy coating making it stain resistant and wool is anti-static so collects minimum dust. Wool is naturally safe, is not known to cause allergies and has natural disinfectant properties within its fibres. Recent developments now mean many wool products can also be safely machine washed.
Pure new wool is wool that has come directly from a living sheep and has not been treated, processed or woven before in any way. This wool is known for it’s extremely soft and fine qualities and provides excellent protection from the elements.
Lapuan Kankurit supply us with a variety of wool products all woven in their Finnish woollen mills.
Merino wool is also 100% natural and one of the oldest and most versatile fibres known to man. Not only is it known for being the softest, finest wool of any sheep, it is also exceptional at regulating body temperature, especially when worn next to the skin. Merino wool will warm you up quickly, but without you overheating. It will insulate you from the cold and keep you warm even if you’re damp or wet - drawing the moisture away from the skin. Merino wool makes a lovely picnic blanket!
Mohair actually comes from the angora goat whereas angora comes from the angora rabbit! We stock a stunning range of blankets/throws from Cape Mohair in South Africa, the largest producers in the world or organic mohair. Here are some top reasons we love mohair products from them:
- Mohair loves the planet- biodegradable and sourced from a sustainable South African supply, mohair is 100% natural fibre, helping to preserve our planet for generations to come.
- Mohair loves job creation - a labour-intensive process, the production of mohair provides many South African jobs, especially in rural areas where it’s needed most.
- Mohair loves other natural fibres - wool, cotton and bamboo combine beautifully with mohair to create a multifunctional and multi-beneficial product.
Mohair loves saving electricity - especially in winter, insulating mohair throws and blankets keep you snug as a bug, with no need to reach for the heating controls.