What is Virgin Wool?
Virgin wool is used to create many wool products, from slippers to coats. But what is virgin wool? what makes it different to other types of wool? And should you be choosing virgin wool products over others?
Virgin Wool Definition
Virgin wool has two different definitions:
- Virgin wool is the wool taken from a lamb’s first shearing. This first lot of wool from a lamb is the finest and softest wool taken from a sheep during its life.
- Or it is wool that has not been processed or woven. Basically any wool that has not been recycled. In this case, the virgin wool can come from an adult sheep.
What is Virgin Wool used for?
Like other types of wool, virgin wool is used for slippers, clothing items such as jumpers, as well as home items such as blankets and rugs. As virgin wool is more robust than other types of wool it’s a great material to use for items like slippers that need to be durable, soft, and warm.
What are the benefits of Virgin Wool?
Virgin wool has many beneficial properties other than its durability and softness. When it comes to apparel it’s important that breathable materials are used to allow our skin to breathe. This is one reason why this type of wool is such a fabulous material as it allows for this.
For those worried about wool absorbing moisture, whether it be sweat or rain, you don’t need to fret! Virgin wool is moisture wicking meaning any liquid is quickly wicked away to the surface, keeping you nice and dry! Like many other types of wool it is also insulating, so it can keep you warm in the winter and cool in summer.
It is also washable, meaning you don’t have to be cautious about getting a little dirty. There’s nothing a washing machine can’t handle!
Why Virgin Wool Makes Great Slippers
Due to virgin wool’s insulating properties they make for great slippers. Whether you’re snuggling up on a cold winter night, or having your breakfast on your porch in the summer sun, your feet will be kept at just the right temperature.
Because of their durability you’ll know that your wool slippers will last. Whether you’re wearing your favourite slip on slippers around the house everyday, or you’re being taking your outdoor slippers for a walk around your garden, they’re going to last.
The History of Virgin Wool
The thought of clothing being made from recycled wool is somewhat of a foreign one to the modern fashion-lover. However, during World War II there was a shortage of new fabrics, along with many other things. This meant companies and people had to make do with what was already available to them, e.g. already processed wool. Many wool clothes were made from recycled wool from old clothes and even furniture.
It’s thought that during this time is when non-recycled wool took on the name ‘virgin wool.’ Virgin describes something that has never been used and hence it was the perfect fit for unprocessed wool. Nowadays we don’t have a shortage of new fabric but the name has stuck and is often used to refer to higher quality wool. This is due to virgin wool being stronger than wool that has already been used. Much like virgin wool, the history of sneakers shows they also have an interesting name origin.
How is Virgin Wool different to other types of wool?
Depending on which definition of virgin wool you are looking at it differs from other types of wool in different ways. When it comes to the lamb’s first shearing, as said before this is the softest and finest wool a sheep will ever produce. As a sheep gets older it’s wool becomes coarser and so becomes not quite so soft.
When speaking of non-recycled virgin wool the difference comes down to the quality and strength of the wool. When wool products are recycled they are more often than not broken down before being turned into their new form. This breaking down of the wool fibres decreases their strength and hence means the fabric loses durability. So virgin wool is the better option when looking for items that will last.
Virgin Wool vs Merino Wool
Virgin wool is the softest wool that can be taken from a sheep. However, merino wool’s fibres have a slightly different structure to normal sheep fibres. These unique fibres are finer than normal and have smaller scales. This makes them far more soft and comfortable than other variants.
Merino wool is particularly good at temperature regulating which makes it fabulous for sports wear such as merino wool trainers. We love using merino wool in our women’s trainers, men’s trainers, and kids’ trainers for just this reason.
Virgin Wool at Giesswein
We are an Austrian wool company, currently being run by its third generation of Giessweins. We use a variety of wools in our products from merino wool, to virgin wool. From our warm wool slippers, to our merino wool trainers we take advantage of the fabric’s natural benefits. We focus on being sustainable which is why 90% of the water we use is recycled and no fabric goes to waste.