Feature fabric of the week – Boiled Wool

As it is officially the first day of Autumn – Tessuti’s feature fabric of the week has to be our lovely Boiled Worsted Wool. We stock it in these shades :
Black Port
Mossy Green
Petrol Port
Red Port
Wooly Grey

*The advantages: What makes boiled wool such an attractive yet functional fabric is that it has durability, climatic comfort and wonderful softness incorporated into one fabric. When most people think of wool, they think of a cold weather only, scratchy material. Boiled wool is made into felted wool and is not scratchy. Boiled wool jackets can be made to keep you warm in the most severe weather or made of a lighter thickness for more temperate climates. Boiled wool jackets retain their shape for years due to the natural elasticity within the fabric. Boiled wool is also the most elegant, water resistant material you will find. Basically, boiled wool is knitted wool, which has been exposed to heat and water and shrunk to become felted.

The process: To produce boiled wool today, big special washing machines are used. Under the influence of heat and water, the scale structure of the wool, similar to that of pinecones, is broken up. The adjoining fibers in the knitted fabrics are intertwined. Apart from this, the individual wool fibers shrink. The wool felts and the knitted fabric shrinks up to forty percent in length and in breadth. In so doing, innumerable small air chambers are trapped in the fabric.

The qualities: Felting gives wool special characteristics with the climatic qualities of a modern micro fiber. In this way an almost constant temperature is maintained inside a boiled wool jacket even when it is cold or windy, because the trapped air chambers work as a buffer zone. Even in rain and snow, boiled wool provides excellent protection against the bad weather due to the fact that sheep’s wool can absorb about sixty percent of its own weight in water before it actually begins to feel wet. The fat content and the density of the fabric when felted add to the fact that drops of water roll off the surface of the fabric. Boiled wool is particularly weather-resistant because the ingenious felting increases the tensile strength and the friction resistance of wool remarkably. Boiled wool is particularly comfortable because unlike loden (woven wool vs. knitted wool), it stretches. One just has to wear this wonderful fabric once to fall in love with it!

* info sourced from here