Natural Wool from animals
Welcome to my series of natural yarn types from animals and plants/ trees. Below is a variety of animals that are used in Fashion and/ or interior for their wool. Note that next to below mentioned animals their might be many more animals who’s hair’s are used. At the end of this page you will be able to download our booklet and have a portable version of the main stream animal yarns out there. I invite you to experiment with all this types of yarns as each one has their own specific texture and characteristics.
Alpaca’s are one out of 4 Camelidea family. Their fibre is considered to be among the luxurious ones, hard-wearing, is warmer than sheep wool and produces light garments.
The fibres are fine and are naturally white, brown, grey and black.These animals originates from South america but due to their popularity over the years you are now able to find time in different quantities all over the world in a domesticated state.
Llama’s is one of the other animal from the Camelidea family. They have a fine undercoat which are currently being produced in a small quantity.
Llama fibre is not wool as per the definition of what wool is, but it is referred to as llama wool.
The natural colours found for this fibre is grey, brown, black , grey and dark brown. Llama wool is also considered to be a luxury fibre.
These animals also originates from South america but in smaller quantities can be found in North america in a domestic state.
Saved from extinction in the 70’s, the vicuna were highly sought after for their fibre. They have the finest fibres of all the animals and are hard to sheer. This is the reason why they were likely killed and then had their fleece removed.
The wool of the Vicuna is very sensitive to any chemical treatment, for this reason it is used in its natural colour, rich golden.
Camelhair, also considered a luxurious fibre, is mainly being produced from the Bactrian camel. This is the 2 humped camel. This camel, unlike the dromedary (single hump camel) naturally produces long stables. The fibre from the undercoat do not felt easily and is used in coatings and other fabrics. The outer courser camel hair is incorporated in carpets and bedding. It is also weaved in clothing to make fabrics waterproof.
Contrary to popular believe, cashmere is not a breed of goat, rather it is the description of goat bred to produce the fine downy undercoat named the cashmere fibre. Their are many other breeds of goat that can produce cashmere, but the popular goat, the Himalayan mountain goat is popularly known as cashmere goat. The fibre is obtained by combing the long hair of the goat. For a goat hair to be considered cashmere is must be under 18.5 microns.
Cashmere is a highly priced luxury fibre produced mainly china, Mongolia, Afghanistan and Iran.
Mohair is a lustre white fibre that is clipped from the Angora goat. It is made up of locks or ringlets of fibre held in place by their natural curls. The younger the goat the finer the fibre, as the goat ages its fibre becomes more course.
The Angora goat demands exact care, require dry climates as they are very sensitive to wet and cold weathers. Today you will find production of the Mohair fleece mainly in dry areas of USA, South Africa and Turkey.
A generic term used to described fleece originating from sheep.
Sheep wool is produced in almost every nation world wide. It is the breed of the sheep and the quality of the fleece that vary, this in turn determines the price. In the UK there are about 30 known pure breeds.
Australia is currently named as producing the best quality of wool.
The Yak fibre, thought considered to be a luxury fibre, has been struggling for recognition. It is naturally brown and its quality is between sheep wool and cashmere. The hair is obtained by combing or pulling in the late spring when the winter coat is naturally shed. This fibre is almost exclusively produced in the high mountains of Tibet.
The Angora rabbit’s fibre consist of short fine hairs together with spiky hairs. This is obtained by combing and clipping the hair every 3 months.
The hair falls into 2 categories: The french type: more guard hairs and spikier appearance and the German type: is free of guard hairs and is much softer.