What are the qualities of different wool blends?

What are the qualities of different wool blends?

I hear that wool has some unique properties like retaining warmth while wet and being good at wicking moisture. So how does different blends and ratios of wool effect the material?

Wool-polyester blends, wool-cotton blends, wool-acrylic blends, 45% wool 60% wool 80% wool, etc. Is there a "critical mass" of wool content where its qualities become minor enough that you shouldnt even bother with blend price wise? Or the opisite, are there some blends that are nice because they retain their shape better then pure wool?

Any blend experts here?

46 thoughts on “What are the qualities of different wool blends?

    • Anonymous says:

      >asking how watered down do I like my coffee
      Do you simply eat coffee beans of buy pure caffeine, you stupid?

      https://i.imgur.com/c5JQSHt.jpg

      What are the qualities of different wool blends?

      I hear that wool has some unique properties like retaining warmth while wet and being good at wicking moisture. So how does different blends and ratios of wool effect the material?

      Wool-polyester blends, wool-cotton blends, wool-acrylic blends, 45% wool 60% wool 80% wool, etc. Is there a "critical mass" of wool content where its qualities become minor enough that you shouldnt even bother with blend price wise? Or the opisite, are there some blends that are nice because they retain their shape better then pure wool?

      Any blend experts here?

      >What are the qualities of different wool blends
      20-40% of synthetics is the best.
      Otherwise pure wool will look ugly after the first washing.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t know why people say stuff like this. I generally wash my wool products in cold water and hang dry. They all look fine.

        • Anonymous says:

          Recycled wool will pill pretty badly if you throw it in the washing machine which you aren’t supposed to do in the first place. Otherwise, that anon is an idiot and should be ignored. Also, checked.

        • Anonymous says:

          I hand washes a wool sweater once and it got shink’d (and still smelled weird). Think you have to have a technique down. just more of a pain, even tried with some vinegar to get the smell out then washed a few times. Heard you cant over mix either or it bunches.

          • Anonymous says:

            >soak in cold water with a bit of vinegar
            >gently rinse in cold water
            >dry laying flat on a towel
            It’s not that hard. What shrinks wool is the combination of heat and movement. Never use warm/hot water, and never put it in the dryer.

          • Anonymous says:

            I find that highly unlikely. I’ve washed all kinds of wool in just the way I described and it has never shrunk.

    • Anonymous says:

      fpbp. Though there is an exception with socks. You want socks with a bit of nylon in them. They’ll last a lot longer. But for jackets, blankets, sweaters etc. you want 100% wool and nothing less. All blends do is make them cheaper to produce and increase profit margins.

      Also pay careful attention to the type of wool. Recycled wool is itchier and won’t last as long. Look for virgin wool, or better yet, virgin lambswool if you want super soft. Merino wool is best for base layers since it basically feels like cotton against your skin, but it’s not the warmest type of wool, so be aware of that if you’re buying a merino sweater, jacket or blanket.

      • Anonymous says:

        To add to this, alpaca and yak wool are significantly warmer than sheep’s wool. Cashmere is also warmer (though not as warm as the former two) but super soft and not itchy at all. Though expect to pay an arm and a leg for all of the above.

        • Anonymous says:

          american bison and musk ox wool are also a lot warmer. slightly better all around imo than alpaca and yak but not nearly as commercially available and way more regionally limited. bison musk ox and vicuña are probably the highest end wools for their categories. bison vs ox vs yak really just depends on where you live and what exact garment you want. bison’s my favorite its one of the strongest natural fibers and its as soft as cashmere, but also warmer and more water resistant and ‘warm when wet’ than merino.
          alpaca, yak, bison, qiviut are also all hypoallergenic too. alpaca bison and qiviut lack barbs too so they don’t itch. yak i think has barbs. some of them are only suited for thicker gaments though.

          • Anonymous says:

            I have a thin 100% baby alpaca sweater that I got from a thrift store for like $8. It definitely itches, but it’s also extremely warm considering how thin it is. Shit’s twice as warm as my polyester/cotton hoodie despite being 1/4 the weight and seethrough.

          • Anonymous says:

            itchiness doesnt really matter much for sweaters since you can always just put on a long sleeve or button down under it
            also you dont want knitwear directly on your skin because the more you sweat into it the more youll need to wash it and the faster itll wear out

          • Anonymous says:

            I sometimes like to throw on a sweater over a t-shirt, but those are both valid points. With the alpaca sweater I just wear my merino long-sleep underneath and it’s cozy as hell.

          • Anonymous says:

            hats and gloves usually go right against the skin but otherwise i agree.
            its nice to have a wool sweater you can wear a tee under but some people’s skin just doesn’t agree with wool. i can wear itchy low quality lamb and sheep wool no prob.

          • Anonymous says:

            it definitely can, i’m just speaking relative to other wools. some people get itchiness from lanolin allergy and some from the physical scales on the fiber.
            also comparing animal to animal like i’m doing isn’t totally accurate, there’s also grades of wool from there based on micron size of the fiber which depend on the animal and how its sheared or harvested (and part of why vicuna’s so expensive) and also processing that may or may not happen to make it even smoother against the skin and/or machine washable. fun fact a common but not the only method of this involves spraying it with resin called hecosett-12.

          • Anonymous says:

            >bison’s my favorite its one of the strongest natural fibers and its as soft as cashmere
            heck, I need to get some bison shit.
            Really wish bison in general was more cultivated, remember getting a bison stake in Montana and that stuff was nice.

            itchiness doesnt really matter much for sweaters since you can always just put on a long sleeve or button down under it
            also you dont want knitwear directly on your skin because the more you sweat into it the more youll need to wash it and the faster itll wear out

            For sweaters. Im op and the pic I posted I think is probably pretty good for underlayer for hiking and long term outdoor shit. is thin, and the high polyester is probably the reason why the label says I can machine wash cold after sweating in it for a while.

          • Anonymous says:

            >Really wish bison in general was more cultivated, remember getting a bison stake in Montana and that stuff was nice.
            There are a few bison farms around where I live. I find it tastes pretty much identical to grass-fed beef (not grain finished). Which is to say, it’s delicious. But it’s always about 25% more expensive even if you buy directly from the farm, so not really worth the price imo.

    • Anonymous says:

      isnt cotton just the cotton plants pubes?

      anyways, if it keeps a sheep warm, it’ll probably keep me warm.

      Don’t bother with blends. You’re asking how watered down do I like my coffee. The answer is not at all

      some people like Americanos.

        • Anonymous says:

          the properties depend on the variety of wool and the weave
          knit wool absorbs water but doesn’t soak you throuh easily, it just weighs you down
          merino wool is moisture-wicking in terms of sweat which is why its good for under layers
          tight-knit gabardine wool is near water-proof, while still relatively breathable, which is why it was used to make outerwear before synthetics
          i dont really give a heck about the properties of blends because 95% of the time synthetics are used as cheap filler, and even if they do add some benefit like durability i dont want to wear plastic or support the production of plastic

          what, you just drink a little shot glass of pure espresso?

          • Anonymous says:

            Thanks for half of an actual answer guy.

            What about wool cotton blends? Ive seen a few of those. I personally dont care too much about synthetic or non, just would like to know whats the practical differences between different wool blends.

            different animals make different wools with different properties. i’ve never found a good list that includes all of them without missing a bunch of stuff i have in my closet, maybe i will make one.
            then how you make the wool into a garment (woven? what size yarn? felted? etc) also affects the properties.
            some wools are soft some are weatherproof some are itchy some people are allergic to some wools but some wools are hypoallergenic its pretty complicated.
            tl;dr
            luxury feel: vicuna, cashmere, angora
            rugged/workwear/everyday: bison/muskox/chinese yak/merino/sheep/lamb/etc
            but even thats way oversimplified because theres a bunch of species of sheep/lamb and also how you raise them and shear them affects it too! fun!
            just DYOR and dont buy crap lol.

            Thanks for the info.
            I remember trying to look it up, and the page I got to just tried to sell me their shit. Guess I just need to search deeper.

            mixed with synthetics to make it more durable and machinewashable and tumbledryable
            thats about it no?
            dont see the reason to go below 50%
            guess it depends on what the fabric is and where the wool is placed though
            i only wear woolsocks idk

            makes sense, wool stuff is a bit of a pain if it needs to be washed. stretched out too.

            A synthetic blend is expected in socks for durability and shape retention. Sometimes some synthetic materials are blended into higher end coats for the same reason, but you don’t need a synthetic wool blend for something like a sweater or trousers. 100% wool sweaters should hold up just fine with washing as long as the wool is high quality and the knit work is solid.

            Synthetics in socks are okay, synthetics in coats are sometimes okay depending on the blend and application, synthetics in shirts/pants never unless you’re doing some specific activity like running marathons or skiing. Also worth noting companies will constantly lie about the percentage of the blend so take numbers with a grain of salt. There are studies you can look up on this phenomenon if you’re curious, it’s extremely widespread because there isn’t a cetral governing body checking to make sure these companies are telling the truth (and obviously they are not).

            Good answer, what im looking for, thanks.

          • Anonymous says:

            >I remember trying to look it up, and the page I got to just tried to sell me their shit
            yep that’s also why i didn’t link anything.
            there’s a few lists i found on reddit but they’re like 70% complete at best. maybe combining a few.

            Cashmere is used to make whatever the garment is much softer to feel and give it a slight gloss.

            https://i.imgur.com/JDehwTF.jpg

            can confirm that this is true even at low percentages. have this llb sweater with only 5% cashmere and even just that makes a real difference. no where near as much as higher content, but definitely noticable from just regular cotton.

            i think I want to try more cotton-wool blend fabrics.

            https://i.imgur.com/2yn8fG9.jpg

            Sheep wool/cashmere blends are also used to reduce itchiness. This 20% cashmere sweater I got for like 40% off on clearance is the coziest sweater I’ve ever owned.

            angora wool is also usually seen in low %’s mixed with other wools, cotton, synthetics etc because its not very strong on its own.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d gladly wear a girl’s pubes sweater if there were one available
      >gay
      99.9% of sheep’s, or any other farm animal for that matter, are females

  1. Anonymous says:

    I’d be a lot more interested to know about wool/cotton blends or wool/cashmere, cotton/cashmere blends since I always assumed everyone knows synthetics suck for the most part.

      • Anonymous says:

        can confirm that this is true even at low percentages. have this llb sweater with only 5% cashmere and even just that makes a real difference. no where near as much as higher content, but definitely noticable from just regular cotton.

        i think I want to try more cotton-wool blend fabrics.

        • Anonymous says:

          Sheep wool/cashmere blends are also used to reduce itchiness. This 20% cashmere sweater I got for like 40% off on clearance is the coziest sweater I’ve ever owned.

  2. Anonymous says:

    different animals make different wools with different properties. i’ve never found a good list that includes all of them without missing a bunch of stuff i have in my closet, maybe i will make one.
    then how you make the wool into a garment (woven? what size yarn? felted? etc) also affects the properties.
    some wools are soft some are weatherproof some are itchy some people are allergic to some wools but some wools are hypoallergenic its pretty complicated.
    tl;dr
    luxury feel: vicuna, cashmere, angora
    rugged/workwear/everyday: bison/muskox/chinese yak/merino/sheep/lamb/etc
    but even thats way oversimplified because theres a bunch of species of sheep/lamb and also how you raise them and shear them affects it too! fun!
    just DYOR and dont buy crap lol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    mixed with synthetics to make it more durable and machinewashable and tumbledryable
    thats about it no?
    dont see the reason to go below 50%
    guess it depends on what the fabric is and where the wool is placed though
    i only wear woolsocks idk

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ideally never above 20% synthetics. The best synthetic for durability is nylon/polyamide, ideally it’s corespun(nylon fiber with wool around it). Polyester is dogshit most of the time. If wool is too warm, you can get cotton/wool blends or wool with lyocell/viscose.
    Wool quality is a very complicated subject with sheep variety, fiber length, weave, thickness, and other factors. Generic wool is the most durable, merino has the best thermoregulation, cashmere is the softest.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >retaining warmth while wet
    It is important to understand this is not an absolute (i.e. fall into water in wool, come out and be fine). Rather, wool loses insulation less quickly than cellulose fibres like cotton. Synthetics are still the superior material in that regard simply because they absorb far less water to begin with and dry quicker.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A synthetic blend is expected in socks for durability and shape retention. Sometimes some synthetic materials are blended into higher end coats for the same reason, but you don’t need a synthetic wool blend for something like a sweater or trousers. 100% wool sweaters should hold up just fine with washing as long as the wool is high quality and the knit work is solid.

    Synthetics in socks are okay, synthetics in coats are sometimes okay depending on the blend and application, synthetics in shirts/pants never unless you’re doing some specific activity like running marathons or skiing. Also worth noting companies will constantly lie about the percentage of the blend so take numbers with a grain of salt. There are studies you can look up on this phenomenon if you’re curious, it’s extremely widespread because there isn’t a cetral governing body checking to make sure these companies are telling the truth (and obviously they are not).

  7. Anonymous says:

    Idk I have a long sleeve wool undershirt and it’s nice and warm but it feels itchy as heck. Darn tough makes my favorite socks, not just favorite wool socks, but favorite overall. Any other type of sock, 100% cotton, to whatever blend nike dry-fit are smell after taking my work shoes off. Even if I’m not really sweating. Never have that or have them stick to my feet w the merino bois.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >Is there a "critical mass" of wool content where its qualities become minor enough that you shouldnt even bother with blend price wise? Or the opisite, are there some blends that are nice because they retain their shape better then pure wool?
    It takes a gigantic shitload of flock wool to make multiple forms of clothing out of it, and companies won’t buy just any wool. Makers blend because it comes down to money.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Am I hecked (sweater wise) If I have a lanolin allergy? fine with the itchyness of different wools themselves, but when I wear them my face gets red and It feels slightly harder to breath. Not horrible, but uncomfortable. Can you develop out of it?

  10. Anonymous says:

    wool blends exist to make wool stronger, not more moisture wicking. wool-nylon (or polyamide, same thing) is a good blend for that, even a small percentage of polyamide is enough. avoid acrylic like the plague, it’s toxic garbage.

  11. Anonymous says:

    100% percent wool or gtfo.

    A small percent of polyester can help strengthen the piece of clothing. But this is only necessary if the piece is going through heavy duty use like for sports for example. Or if you have some other niche needs, like say you live in a hot climate. This is especially true for merino wool clothing, which can benefit from some poly content, since merino is often thin and if used a lot is prone to tearing. Also, moths love soft merino wool especially. Merino base layers or socks for example, come to mind as pieces where it may be practical to have some poly content or blend it with other materials that help retain its longevity.

    However with other wool (cashmere or classic scratchy sheep wool) I would always go 100%. Because you want 100% of the benefits of wools properties (remember different wool types have their own unique properties and uses too). Especially if the QUALITY of the piece is a given and you take good care of the wool like protect it from moths, you do not need any polyester blends in the majority of cases. This is also true for soft and fragile merino pieces that are not intended for heavy duty usage (think of sweaters, scarfs, blankets etc). Like, if a cashmere sweater was blended with some other material it would literally be ruined in my opinion. Cashmere is cashmere and should not be hecked with. So should the majority of other wool types in the majority of cases. Even the tough scratchy sheep stuff is great for winter. You get used to it and it will last much longer than softer wools. Basically, invest in quality wool and you won’t regret it.

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