A Guide to Lambswool
From the expertly crafted Kiltane Lambswool Scarf, to our luxuriously soft lambswool blankets: we pride ourselves on our expert knowledge of all things lambswool. When carefully collected and skilfully woven, this fabric truly makes an excellent wardrobe and interior staple. Discover why lambswool is the best wool fibre on the market and how to take care of it below.
What is Lambswool?
Lambswool is a product of a lamb’s first shearing, usually from 7 months old. For their own health, it’s necessary for sheep to be shorn at least once a year before the warm weather arrives. If a sheep isn’t shorn, over time the weight of the wool can make movement difficult and cause other long-term issues for the animal.
Regular wool is often described as ‘itchy’ to wear. Lambswool is distinctively softer in comparison because lambs are less exposed to the elements compared to adult sheep. Lambswool is also rarer than regular wool because each sheep can only produce this soft fibre once in their lifetime. This makes lambswool one of the rarest fibres available on the market.
Benefits of Lambswool
Although softer and more luxurious, lambswool still contains all the benefits of regular wool, including:
- Temperature regulating properties. The natural properties in wool will help ensure the wearer is never too warm and never too cold, no matter the time of year.
- It’s hypoallergenic. Wool naturally absorbs moisture and can easily remain dry which repels dust mites and bacteria – the usual triggers of allergic reactions. With that in mind, lambswool blankets are great options for sensitive individuals!
- Odour repellent. Wool can absorb and dispel larger volumes of moisture than synthetic fibres which prevents the accumulation of sweat and odours.
- Wrinkle resistant. Wool fibres will always bounce back to their natural shape, making any wool garment wrinkle resistant and very easy to wear.
- It’s environmentally friendly. Unlike synthetic fibres, no harmful chemicals are needed to produce wool, and no micro-plastics are left behind after a wool garment degrades outdoors.
Lambswool vs. Merino Wool
The domesticated Merino sheep is also known across the world for the super soft fibre it produces. Merino wool is typically finer and famously softer than regular wool. This poses the question: which is better, lambswool or merino wool?
These wool types are both regularly compared based on their texture, cost and durability. Below we have outlined the similarities and differences of each fibre to help you make the best possible purchase decision.
All wool types are naturally insulating due to the microscopic air pockets in the fibre that traps air in place and delays the movement of heat. With that said, lambswool is typically warmer than merino.
Although lambswool is more comfortable to wear than most wool types, it is notably coarser to touch. Merino wool is famously soft and is often compared to the delicate texture of cashmere.
Lambswool contains more elasticity than adult sheep’s wool, including the merino sheep. This makes it easier for lambswool fibres to spring back into shape when bent or stretched. Although all wool is generally durable, lambswool is notably more so than garments crafted from merino wool.
How to Care for Lambswool
As a natural fibre, lambswool is very easy to care for. Unlike synthetic textiles, it isn’t necessary to wash lambswool garments after each use. In fact, washing less will help maintain the longevity of the fabric. However, accidents happen, and you can’t avoid washing your lambswool forever, so always make sure to keep the below tips in mind.
- Lambswool is naturally very breathable, so before washing any woollen garments, you should first air them out between wears.
- Avoid using a washing machine to clean your lambswool garments or blankets. This can not only cause the fabric to shrink and lose shape but can also cause unnecessary pilling and the fibre to become coarser, losing that super soft texture we all know and love.
- We would recommend gently washing your lambswool by hand in lukewarm water with a specialist detergent and lying flat on a rack to dry.
- Don’t hang up your wet woollens to dry. Remember, wool is very absorbent, so wet wool can become very heavy. The weight will stretch and ruin the overall shape of the garment.
- Steaming is a great alternative to washing – but this should still be done with care. Although there are anti-bacterial properties found naturally in wool, gently steaming your woollens will enable the fabric to let go of any bacteria or smells that have been absorbed. This is safer than using an iron, which can permanently damage the fibres from excessive heat and weight.
How to Store Lambswool
Avoid hanging your lambswool stoles or scarves as this can eventually lead to these garments losing their shape over time. Always ensure your woollens are folded and stored away from direct heat or sunlight. Moths also love natural fibres, so to prevent them from ruining your lambswool, you should consider adding mothballs to your store cupboards just in case.
The Best Lambswool Scarves in Edinburgh
Kiltane’s lambswool scarves and accessories are enjoyed the world over, and when cared for properly, will last a lifetime. Now that you know where lambswool comes from, it’s incredible benefits and how easy it is to care for, we’re confident you’ll become just as passionate about this incredible fibre as we are!
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