Wool is one of the oldest and most versatile natural fibers in the world. Dating back to ancient times, wool was initially gathered from sheep to spin into clothing, blankets and textiles that contributed to growing economies in Central Asia and Europe. From this basic craft, the Industrial Revolution was able to mechanize methods to create, what we know today, as the textile industry.
Wool has been used in footwear for hundreds of years too. However, it has mainly been boiled wool (a felted product) that provides extreme insulation and has many limitations in footwear. At Woolloomooloo Shoe, we focus on digitally knitting our Australian Merino wool to provide the maximum functionality wool has to offer, creating the ultimate comfort in a sneaker.
Knitted wool is breathable due to the nature of its fibers and the way they are woven together. The structure of knitted wool allows for air circulation, which helps to regulate temperature and prevent overheating. This breathability is one of the reasons why wool is often used in various types of clothing, including sweaters and other knitted garments. Boiled wool is a much denser product and does not allow for air flow, so is usually preferred as an insulation layer in coats or outerwear.
2. Moisture Management
One of the most remarkable qualities of knitted wool is its ability to regulate moisture. Unlike synthetic materials, wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling damp. It wicks away perspiration from the body, allowing it to evaporate and keeping you dry, making it an excellent choice for outdoor activities and active wear. Once again, a boiled wool product does not achieve this due to its densely compacted state – providing less performance than its knitted counterpart.
3. Durability and Longevity
Wool is a remarkably durable material, capable of withstanding wear and tear over time. Its natural elasticity allows it to bounce back from stretching, ensuring that knitted wool pieces retain their shape even after extensive use. With proper care, a well-made knitted wool garment can last for years, becoming a beloved part of your wardrobe. This is why you don’t see boiled wool sweaters on the market – it has almost zero elasticity and once stretched, it’s over.
4. Natural Resilience
The inherent resilience of wool makes it resistant to wrinkles and creases. This quality is particularly advantageous for travel, as knitted wool items can be packed without worrying about excessive wrinkling. They’re ready to be worn straight from the suitcase, offering convenience along with style.
5. Environmental Benefits
Wool is a renewable resource that is biodegradable and has a lower environmental impact compared to synthetic materials. Choosing knitted wool supports sustainable practices and reduces the demand for non-renewable resources, contributing to a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Knitted wool is more than just a material; it’s a source of warmth, comfort, and timeless style. Its ability to provide unmatched warmth, manage moisture, and offer natural breathability make it a favorite clothing and accessories. With durability, natural resilience, and environmental benefits, knitted wool pieces become cherished items that stand the test of time. So, whether you’re wrapping yourself in a knitted wool blanket or slipping on a sneaker, you’re not just embracing comfort; you’re embracing a tradition that has been treasured for generations.