top of page

Wool composition

But what exactly is the composition of sheep's wool? As you may have already noticed, raw wool has a greasy appearance. This is actually a wax with a complex chemical composition, which is used to make lanolin. The fibres are also covered in wool grease, another complex chemical mixture that solubilises in water. It is therefore important to wash the wool thoroughly to remove the grease and wool grease. Wool will lose up to twice its weight after washing!

raw wool

Wool fibre is made up of pith at its centre, surrounded by a cortex. Did you know that most of this cortex is made up of keratin, like our hair? Finally, the surface of the fibre is made up of cuticles, resembling scales that can open and close depending on the climatic conditions. To begin with, we can distinguish wool, which has virtually no pith, from hair and jars, which have more pith. It's these fibres that you don't want to find in knitting yarn, because they're harder and don't feel good against your skin! So it's important to sort the wool properly to remove the hair and the pith before considering turning it into yarn.

washed wool

​Secondly, wool fibres are classified according to their diameter. For example, the finest fibres have a diameter of less than 22 micrometres, while the coarsest have a diameter of more than 36 micrometres. The fineness of wool varies greatly from one breed of sheep to another.


bottom of page