Continuing our series on natural fibers called "Fiber Profiles," I wanted to talk about wool next, seeing as how nothing could be more exciting during the winter sweater season than a long discourse on the properties of wool. Just kidding--it's really not that long, and it will even increase your vocabulary. SHUKR Natural Wool Fiber
Most often obtained from sheep, wool fibers are crimped, elastic, and grow in staples, making them quite different from both hair and fur. Because of the crimp, wool has a greater bulk than other fabrics causing it to retain air, and thus, heat. Its insulatory properties (much like linen) tend to work both ways. Many indigenous desert peoples also use wool to keep the heat out (the Bedouin and the Tuareg [not the car], being two).

Wool fibers are hygroscopic, meaning they readily absorb moisture, and are hollow. Because wool ignites at a higher temperature than cotton and other fibers, and is self-extinguishing, it is often used in firefighters uniforms and in other environments where safety from fire is concerned.

Curiously, but perhaps not entirely surprising, it's also traditionally been used as a cover for cloth diapers. The exterior of wool fibers are hydrophobic (water repellent) and the interior of it is hygroscopic (water absorbent). This keeps the moisture inside diapers rather than anywhere else. Wool that has been felted and treated with lanolin is slightly antibacterial, air permeable, and hydrophobic, all good things for those in diapers, and for those of us who deal with small persons in diapers.

But of course, our favorite use for wool is seasonal outerwear. Check out a couple of our favorites here:

  SHUKR Classic Wool Coat Classic Wool Coat SHUKR Senada Wool Coat Senada Wool Coat  

In another thought, your new word of the week is now hygroscopic. If anyone manages to work this word naturally into conversation, please let us know in the comments.