Have You Any Wool? A Closer Look at Luxury Knits

It turns out wool comes from more than sheep. (Newsflash? We hope not.) The term itself refers to the result of spun hair from any mammal. The thinner the follicle of hair, the softer and more desirable – ahem, expensive – the wool.

BLG-1756 What Are You Really Wearing - Wool

Sheep are simply the top wool-producing animals in the world, making their variety the most common. But some of the luxest knits out there, from cashmere to mohair, come from animals that might surprise.

Cashmere
All hail the queen of knits. This super-soft variety is spun from the hair of the Kashmir goat, native to central Asia, and is actually collected by brushing, not shaving. The desired fibers grow beneath the goat’s coarser coat, making it available only in small quantities, hence the hefty price tag.

Angora
Call it love at first sight. If you’re not already obsessed with angora, you will be once you peep the cute, cuddly, and completely irresistible animal responsible for it – the Angora rabbit. The follicles from this little fluff ball are actually hollow, giving the spun fibers a floating sensation.

Mohair
This recognizably lustrous wool comes from the Angora goat – not to be confused with actual angora, which comes from the above obsession-worthy rabbit. Mohair is known as a durable luxury, as it responds well to wear, tear, and dye.

By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

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September 24, 2013