From blankets to socks, to rugs and hats and mittens, there are many products that are made from wool. But do you know the full range of products that wool is used to create? Wool is a great renewable resource, since a single sheep can produce 7 pounds of wool per year on average. So let’s talk about what sheep wool is used for and explore some of the most common products made of wool, as well as some unique and surprising sheep wool products.
Some of the Most Popular Uses for Sheep Wool
Below I’ll discuss some of the most popular things sheep wool is used for, including:
- Bedding and blankets
- Crafts and hobbies
- Upholstery and carpets
And I’ll also share some secret uses for wool that you probably don’t know about (read all the way to the end)!
If you’re not allergic to wool, you may have some wool garments in your closet.
Not only can you find beautiful wool sweaters, you can buy (and knit or crochet) wool gloves, mittens, scarves, and an almost endless array of comfortable and warm items.
Wool is perfect for clothing because of its breathability and ability to regulate moisture.
Some kinds of wool are especially strong in those areas. For example, Merino wool is used in high-end garments and athletic or outdoor wear because of these qualities.
Every kind of wool is great for winter wear, and heavier varieties of wool are especially popular for the cold weather season.
Finer textures and grades of wool, such as Merino, are most often used in clothing.
Merino wool is popular to use in outdoor and athletic wear.
This surprises many people. After all, when you think of wool, you probably think of a thick, warm wool sweater.
But wool, and especially Merino wool, is breathable. Merino wool is specifically effective at regulating temperature, as it’s a fine-textured wool and sits lightly on the body.
Wool is also used in high-end men’s suits. Men’s suits use only the highest quality and finest wools, and this makes sure their wearers have excellent temperature and moisture regulation.
When wool is used in men’s suits, it is woven in a specific way. Wools come in both knits and weaves.
When it comes to suits, woven it always the wool of choice.
Bedding and Blankets
Premium wool blankets are a fantastic addition to any bedroom. Wool is especially popular in baby blankets and bedding, but you can find wool bed products for every age range.
If you go with a wool blanket for a baby, make sure you get a variety that has a fine and soft wool variety.
Wool is popular in bedding because of how it can manage your body temperature, keeping you consistently comfortable. Wool bedding helps to absorb moisture from your body and let your skin breathe.
No matter what the temperature may be outside, wool bedding has the ability to keep you comfortable.
As in other wool product categories, Merino wool is prized in blankets and bedding. Merino has a fine and soft texture that is hard to beat when it comes to items that come into close contact with your skin.
Of course, if you don’t want to (or don’t have the budget to) spend a fortune on a Merino blanket, there are blankets made with more affordable wools available on the market.
As long as you’re not allergic to wool, you should enjoy having almost any kind of wool blanket.
Lambswool is popular for baby blankets and clothing. This kind of wool is taken from baby sheep, and it’s much finer and softer than other kinds of wool.
If you want to invest in lambswool, you will have to be ready to pay a significant price.
Lambswool is an especially expensive wool variety, as it’s more difficult to extract lambswool and producers don’t get as much wool from each lamb as they would from a sheep.
Crafts and Hobbies
You can buy pure wool yarn for knitting and crocheting.
While there are artificial (for example, acrylic) varieties out there, you cannot beat pure wool for quality and comfort if you’re using your yarn for creating clothes or bedding.
Wool is also much more durable than artificial yarns.
If you want to get into knitting or crocheting, find out about the different kinds of wool yarns available before starting your projects.
You’ll be amazed at just how many options there are to choose from. Wool is exceptionally good at holding color from dye, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Upholstery and Carpets
One of the most popular ways to use wool is the creation of high-end carpets and rugs.
Like with other kinds of wool products, wool carpets and upholstery is more durable than artificial fibers. Also, it has fire resistance and holds color well.
Wool carpets have been made and prized all over the world for hundreds of years. When you invest in a high-quality and well-made wool carpet or rug, you know it will last.
Some Surprising Uses for Wool
Let’s explore some of the more surprising ways wool is used.
Home Insulation Products
Believe it or not, wool is sometimes used in home insulation. Wool is useful for this because of how it holds in warmth, regulates moisture, and resists mold.
Wool insulation stands in contrast to mineral wool insulation, so don’t get these confused. The latter is comprised of iron ore fibers or molten basalt fibers.
Most of the insulation products with wool that you find on the market include a polyester adhesive to hold the material together.
If you don’t like the idea of that and want to stick to something completely natural, you can find this but you’ll have to search a bit.
Most wool home insulation material is made from wool taken from lower-grade sheep.
You would never buy (or probably even find) home insulation wool from Merino sheep. This would be incredibly expensive.
Beauty and Skincare
The lanolin taken from sheep wool has been used for beauty purposes for hundreds of years.
Many skincare products contain lanolin. It’s a wonderful moisturizer.
If you’re allergic to lanolin, you won’t be able to use products with lanolin.
Lawn and Garden Fertilizer
You can find natural fertilizers containing sheep wool. As a natural material, sheep wool can act as an effective fertilizer for your garden.
Wool’s ability to regulate moisture and store water makes it an excellent addition in slow-release fertilizers. Wool is fully biodegradable.
Uniforms for Firefighters
Wool is fire resistant, which is why it’s a great material for firefighter uniforms.
Merino wool is the specific wool that is used, as it has outstanding flame retardancy.
Even when near extremely hot temperatures, Merino will never melt or injure the skin by melting.
Wool is sometimes mixed with seaweed to create a material for reinforcing bricks. Believe it or not, this actually strengthens bricks.
There are many other ways that wool is used all over the world. As this is a versatile material with many different useful characteristics, the ideas are almost endless.
What are Wool’s Characteristics?
Wool has a unique group of properties and characteristics that makes it so versatile and attractive. Let’s take a look at them below.
Wool is Effective at Regulating Moisture
No matter what you use wool for, you will find that it is able to regulate moisture.
Whether you use it in clothing, carpets and rugs, or in other capacities, wool will help make your life easier and more comfortable.
Wool’s moisture regulation properties is key to how long it lasts and its durability.
There are several reasons people have been using wool for thousands of years. One of these is its durability.
When you invest in a high-quality wool sweater or other garment, or even housewares, you know that it will last a long time.
Able to Resist Compression
This is a key factor in wool’s durability.
In fact, a material cannot be truly durable unless it has true compression resistance. When a material doesn’t have this quality, it will get old quickly.
Unique Chemical Composition
Of course, it’s wool’s special chemical structure that gives it so many unusual qualities. Wool is made of a keratin-variety protein.
This kind of protein has five major components, which are carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, and nitrogen. It’s the way these combine and manifest in wool that make this material the way it is.
Ability to Resist Flame
This is one of wool’s most attractive features, and it’s why so many people love using it in clothing, housewares, and much more. Unlike many other materials, wool will help to put out flame if it is exposed to fire.
It if does catch fire, the wool will actively try to snuff it out. Fire has extreme difficulty trying to spread on wool. This provides protection not only for the sheep it grows on but whatever garments or other items made of wool that you have in your home.
Holds Dye Well
Wool is famous for taking and holding onto color quickly and easily. When you have a wool sweater in a bright color, you can be confident that it will stay that color for years.
With wool, you won’t end up with an old and worn looking garment before you’ve had it for many years, or even decades.
What is Sheep Wool Used For? (answered)
As we’ve seen here, sheep wool has a wide variety of uses. Let’s review them below.
Primary Uses of Wool
- Carpets and upholstery
- Hobbies and crafting
- Blankets and bedding
Other Wool Uses
- Home insulation products
- Lawn and garden fertilizer
- Brick reinforcement
- Firefighter uniforms