Cashmere is a wool you probably will have heard of and it is made from the fur of the Kashmir goat, which can be found dwelling in the mountainous areas across Asia. The hair from this goat is cut (not shaved) to produce a very fine and soft wool that is soft and feels luxurious on the skin. Garments that contain 100% cashmere wool aren’t cheap but often other types of woven into clothes along with cashmere to produce more affordable pieces of clothing.
Angora wool comes from rabbit wool and like cashmere is a very fine and delicate wool – it also insulates heat and repels water. This type of wool is very rare as there are not many rabbit farmers around making it very expensive to buy. Like cashmere, angora is often woven with other types of wool to produce more affordable garments. Angora must always be dry-cleaned as it is so delicate, even hand-washing this type of wool can be detrimental to it.
Alpaca wool tends to come from two different types of alpacas – the Huacaya and the Suri. This type of wool is extremely lightweight but also very strong and robust. There are lots of alpaca farms around the world making this type of wool not so rare and a lot cheaper than cashmere and angora.
Sheep wool is the most popular type of wool but all of the different types of sheep produce very different kinds of wool. Lamb’s wool is the most expensive type of sheep wool as it is the softest kind. Merino is a very popular type of sheep wool and these sheep are often found in New Zealand and parts of Australia. Merino, like lamb’s wool, is a very soft type of sheep wool, which is why it is such a popular clothing fibre. It is excellent at regulating body temperature and like other wools contains lanolin, which has special antibacterial properties.