WOOL


Wool is protein-based, and does not contribute to microplastic pollution.
Wool also reduces waste to landfill as it decomposes naturally in soil, while slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth.
Some of the most popular and luxurious kinds of wool you are likely to come across are Merino Wool which comes from a specific breed of sheep, Cashmere from the Cashmere Goat, Alpaca, Yak, Angora Wool from rabbits, and Mohair, sheared from angora goats.
Merino wool is soft and will feel better against your skin than regular wool, which can be itchy. That is the main reason why Merino is used for finer and thinner knitted designs like thermals and underwear.
Pure 100% wool is highly regarded as sustainable, and is available globally as a source of perfect clothing and home making material.


Wool fabric is known for its exceptional qualities that make it a popular choice in the textile industry.

One of the key properties of wool fabric is its natural insulation. Wool fibers create air pockets that trap heat, keeping you warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. This is why wool is often used in winter clothing and blankets.

Another benefit of wool fabric is its moisture-wicking ability. Wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet, making it a great choice for activewear and outdoor garments.

Additionally, wool is naturally flame resistant, making it a safer option compared to other fabrics.

Wool fabric is also durable and long-lasting. The fibers have a natural elasticity that allows them to retain their shape and resist wrinkles.

Furthermore, wool is naturally antimicrobial, which helps to prevent odors and keep the fabric fresh.


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Introduction to Cashmere


Cashmere is the fine coat fibres produced by cashmere goats (capra hircus).
Due to extremely cold winters, the cashmere goat has developed a lower layer of remarkably thin hair fibres, which acts as an insulator and keeps the animal warm even at extremely low temperatures. Properties that characterize clothing made of 100% cashmere are:
* Remarkably soft and comfortable to wear;
* non-itch, compared to a lot of other wool, and can be used directly on bare skin even for new-born babies;
* Hot and insulating when it is cold, while during high temperatures and summer cashmere actually has a cooling effect;
* Smoothed even more over time. You can wash your cashmere clothes and they get even smoother and more comfortable over time. Cashmere is collected during the spring moulting season when the goats naturally shed their winter coat. Everything is done manually, with no machines involved and is completely harmless to the goats.

Statistics

The main countries producing Cashmere Wool in the world are China, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and a few other countries. Cashmere is not available in every country, as it is mostly found only in certain geographical areas. As the market for wool as commodity is mainly shared between these few producing countries, so the rest of the world must import it from these. 

The world's annual production of raw Cashmere is stable at 15,000 tons to 16,000 tons, of which China accounts for more than 70% of the world's total output, and Mongolia produces about 20% of this Cashmere Wool. About 5% of this amount accounts for a very few other countries and their Cashmere production. Among Cashmere Wool resources, white Cashmere is the most precious, and its output accounts for only about 30% of the world's Cashmere Wool production.

In the international market, more than 50% of the world's high-quality cashmere is produced in Inner Mongolia. 

Inner Mongolia's Albas Cashmere goats, Alashan Cashmere goats, and Erlang Mountain Cashmere goats, Chifeng Saihan Cashmere goats are the main source of high-quality cashmere in China. 

At the same time, the annual output of cashmere in Inner Mongolia accounts for 1/2 of the China production and 1/3 of the world production. It is known that "the world's Cashmere looks at China, and China's Cashmere looks at Inner Mongolia". 

More than 2,600 Cashmere enterprises in China have collected 90% of the world's Cashmere raw materials, and the processed products are exported to more than 40 countries and regions such as Japan, the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, and France, accounting for 80% of the world's exports.

What Is Ring Cashmere ?


Ring cashmere, also known as the "king of cashmere", represents the top level of the cashmere craft. It is a silky high-end textile material, and is the top choice for luxury manufacturers. Not only is its spinning and weaving process extremely strict, but also the selection of materials is quite specific. It is necessary to select cashmere with a length of more than 38mm, and the degree of fineness must be more than 200 super-combed to be called ring velvet. Therefore, one ton of cashmere can only produce 2 kg of ring cashmere raw materials, and finally 4mm ultra-sleeve velvet is chosen, which is combed more than 50 times.
Top-grade Arbas 100% pure cashmere is one of the thinnest and rarest ring cashmere materials in the world. In addition, Tibetan antelope cashmere has become the top choice for textile ring cashmere yarn.
A cashmere goat produces only 150-200 grams per year. Due to the scarcity of production (only 0.2% of the world's total animal fibre production). Excellent quality, the monetary value is said to be "fibre gem", "Fibre Queen", or "soft gold". Due to geographical constraints, cashmere is produced in only a few countries in the world. China is the world's largest producer of cashmere goats and cashmere, and its cashmere production accounts for 60% of the world's total production. The quality is also superior to other countries. Just like the diamond, ring cashmere is also graded.
Because its Cashmere yarn is extremely delicate and light, the 100*220CM shawl is an oversized one. It is only about one fist in size. It is extremely light, thin, soft and warm. It can easily pass through a ring. At home and abroad, it is highly sought after by the upper class. 


Cashmere Production


Why this Ring Cashmere scarf is so expensive ?

Ring Cashmere is historically traditional for Central Asia regions, and it is usually produced and traded in these areas. 
1. We use Cashmere Wool of the highest quality from Inner Mongolia , which is about 15.5 micron fine and 36-42 mm long. Cashmere Wool is softer than regular sheep’s wool, eight times warmer and 33% lighter.
2. Cashmere fibre is fine in texture, strong, light, and soft . Garments made from Cashmere provide excellent insulation, with the luxury shine that only the top Cashmere Scarves have Available in a wide range of solid colours, this High Quality 100% Cashmere scarf for men and women offers superb value, and is the perfect way to keep you warm on a chilly evening out, whilst adding a dash of style to any outfit. 

 

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Worsted Weight Yarn

 

This term originated in the US, but Worsted (pronounced “woosted”) weight yarn has become increasingly popular in the UK and other countries. Essentially, it's a medium weight yarn which is a versatile choice for many clothing designs.

What is the UK equivalent of Worsted weight yarn? If you've only started to hear about worsted weight in recent years, don't worry. It's not a traditionally British term. This term has increased in popularity, largely thanks to the internet bringing the international yarn community together.

Historically, the UK Worsted weight yarn equivalent has been Aran. Some serious yarn enthusiasts will tell you that these terms aren't precisely interchangeable. That's because traditionally, Worsted and Aran yarns were spun differently. As a result, true Aran yarn has more loft and a bouncier feel than Worsted. However, most modern knitting companies don't differentiate between the two.

You may also hear about 10 ply yarn. This term is most commonly used as the Australian Worsted weight yarn equivalent.
What weight is worsted weight yarn?
When we refer to yarn weight, we're not talking about how heavy it is. Confused? Fear not - it's pretty simple to understand. Yarn weight actually refers to its thickness, and is key to the success of any project. The physical weight is another matter. You'll find some fibres, such as alpaca or silk, are lighter than wool or cotton regardless of thickness.

Before you cast on any pattern, check out which yarn weight it was designed for.
We tend to judge yarn weight according to tension or gauge - that is to say, the number of stitches that will make up 4" if you are simply knitting in stocking stitch. 


Is Worsted weight yarn the same as DK?


No. Worsted is thicker than DK. Worsted is sometimes known as 10 ply yarn, while DK is referred to as 8 ply. These terms aren't totally accurate (the number of plies a yarn contains varies according to the spinner - something that can get quite technical). They're good to keep in mind, though, as they give you a general idea of yarn weight.

Although DK is lighter than worsted, they are both considered to be medium weight yarns, and they're often used for the same kind of projects. 


What is a ply?


The term ply can be quite confusing. That's because we use it in two different ways. First, ply can refer to the weight of a yarn. Secondly, it's used to define how yarn is spun.

Worsted is also known as 10 ply. In spinning terms, though, Worsted can have any ply count. For spinners, a ply is a single strand of yarn. Look closely at the yarn you're using: you might see several fibres wrapped around each other. These are plies.

Generally, a higher ply count suggests that a yarn will be longer-lasting and less likely to pill. Single-ply yarns can be very attractive, but they're usually best for garments like scarves, shawls or cowls; use one for a jumper and it may start to pill very quickly. Yarns with four or more plies are a better choice for making garments that will last.
What is worsted weight yarn made from?

Worsted refers to a yarn weight, not a fibre. In fact, you can find worsted yarns of pretty much every fibre, including blends.

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WHAT IS MACHINE WASHABLE WOOL CLOTHING?

 

How to avoid the disadvantage, which emerges during washing, of the felting tendency of woollen material?

Machine washable wool clothing is suitable for washing in a domestic washing machine then hanging on a line to dry. This is a compromise for the sake of convenience.

The high costs both to the environment and bank balance of dry-cleaning Merino wool woven clothing are a concern to many potential consumers. Hand washing of wool clothing is not for everyone, as it requires patience, time and labour, which many consumers avoid consciously as a commitment. A better option especially for younger consumers is to simply machine wash an item of clothing.

Several different technologies are combined to achieve the effect of machine washable clothing. The yarns can be made from easy-care treated fibre to prevent felting shrinkage, and the fabric is specially treated with a polyurethane polymer to improve after wash appearance.

Where a milled or flannel finish is needed, the fabric usually contains untreated yarns which can be milled before the polyurethane is applied by padding.

After polymer treatment the fabric must be carefully finished to reduce changes due to relaxation and expansion due to absorbing water to the minimum.

The garments must also be constructed using washable trims that are compatible (similar dimensional stability) with the wool fabric.


The features include:

- Milled/raised finishes are possible.

- Garments are suitable for hand washing, domestic washing machines and even dry-cleaning if necessary.

- As seams remain smooth, the garment needs only a light press after drying.

- No loss of appearance during rain showers.


That said, it immediately raises the concern about the consumer's health and the environment. Let me explain why. Small, barbed scales cover the surface of wool fibres. When wool is machine-washed and dried, these scales can become interlocked, causing the wool to felt and shrink. To prevent interlocking, wool is usually dry-cleaned or hand-washed.

To prevent felting of wool and to make wool washable in normal household washing machines, several methods have been developed. The most popular one is to treat the barbed scales with chlorine, then, apply a thin polymer coating. This makes wool fibres smooth and allows them to slide against each other without interlocking.


Talking simple, washable wool is made by exposing the fibre to a chlorine that erodes the scales and then it is treated with a sort of plastic, a polymer resin called Hercosett 125.

Hercosett 125 is a polyamide-epichlorohydrin polymer.

Another study reveals what type of technologies are applied to the so called 'green' and  'sustainable' clothing. 

As this green and sustainable movement has political background and gains a lot of political umbrella and media marketing coverage, most people are completely unaware that they already wear such clothing, and have no idea of the health consequences for themselves and their children. 

While the chemicals that comprise this polymer are themselves highly toxic, that does not mean that the polymer itself is. Many plastics that are harmless once combined together into long chemical chains are made from smaller molecules that are toxic before they are combined. However, it is hard to find any information on the safety of Hercosett-treated wool. Since washable wool is coated with plastic, can we really consider it a 100% natural fibre?

Millions of pounds of wool are processed each year in this way. Unfortunately, this method results in wastewater with unacceptably high levels of absorbable organohalogens (AOX) — toxins created when chlorine reacts with available carbon-based compounds. Dioxins, a group of AOX, are one of the most toxic substances known. They can be deadly to humans at levels below one part per trillion. Wastewater from the wool-chlorination process contains such high concentrations of chlorinated chemicals, that most wastewater treatment facilities in the United States do not accept it. Therefore, most chlorinated wool is processed in other countries, then, imported.

The above-described issue is not limited to one single country. The global corporations produce their wealth internationally, and sell their products in industrial quantities. There is nothing like protection of the natural environment in such approach, nor individual touch and uniqueness as it was in the traditional and labour consuming nature friendly production. The meaning of the words 'sustainable' and 'green' now have new shades.

Although you can see some clothing labels stating 'Made in Britain' or 'Made in the USA', very often the case is that the product was only designed and commissioned in these countries. All the other work and materials usually are contracted as business trade agreements in other countries, usually third world countries, due to the international legislation and labour markets.

 

 

Our readers can find some more information here:

1. Eco-Friendly and Highly Efficient Enzyme-Based Wool Shrinkproofing Finishing by Multiple Padding Techniques
by Le Wang 1,Jinbo Yao 2,*,Jiarong Niu 1,Jianyong Liu 1,Bo Li 1 and Mao Feng 
School of Textiles, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387, China

and here:
2. School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Wuhan Textile University, Wuhan 430073, China
* Polymers 2018, 10(11), 1213; 

 

These references are not exhausting, as specialised literature about the issue is publicly available and accessible.

We encourage our readers to find and learn more about the fashion industry processing of raw materials, as this issue directly affects our health and wellbeing.

 

Yours faithfully

ALL NATURALS