Difference Between Wool and Merino Wool l Wool vs Merino Wool


The key difference between wool and Merino wool is that Merino wool is softer and less scratchy than average wool.

Wool is a fiber made from the fur of animals like goat, sheep and alpaca. There are different types of wool, and Merino wool is just one type of wool. Merino wool is obtained from Merino sheep. There are several differences between average wool and Merino wool.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Wool
3. What is Merino Wool
4. Side by Side Comparison – Wool vs Merino Wool in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What is Wool?

Wool is a textile fiber that is obtained from the fur of furry animals like sheep and goats. There are different types of wool; this difference actually stems from the animal the wool is obtained from. For example, angora is wool from the fur of rabbits whereas cashmere and mohair are wool from goats.

There are many different uses of wool. Since wool is a good insulator, we can use wool to make winter clothes such as sweaters, coats, socks and hat. There are natural air pockets in wool that help to keep the heat produced by the body inside. This helps us to stay warm during the winter. Moreover, we can also use wool for other products such as blankets, rugs, saddle clothes, and carpets. It is also important to note that we use wool to make knitted clothing.

Difference Between Wool and Merino Wool l Wool vs Merino Wool

Figure 01: Knitted Cloth Made of Wool

Wool fiber is soft and absorbs water; it is also durable and stretchable. Also, it doesn’t wrinkle easily and springs back to shape.  Many factors affect the quality of wool; yield, fiber diameter, crimp, color, and staple strength are some of the factors.

What is Merino Wool?

Sheep’s wool is the most common and widely available wool available in the market. There are different types of sheep wool depending on the various sheep species like melton, loden, Shetland, lambswool and merino. Merino wool is obtained from Merino sheep, typically found in the mountainous areas of Australia and New Zealand.

Difference Between Wool and Merino Wool l Wool vs Merino Wool

Figure 02: Merino Sheep

Merino wool is finer than average wool. Thus, Merino wool is softer, more flexible and less itchy. This wool is also quite durable because of its strength and natural elasticity. When compared to the amount of warmth it gives, this wool is lightweight. Merino wool is a great choice for outdoor activities like hiking due to all these great qualities.

It’s also important to note that although the textile industry widely use the word ‘merino wool’, it doesn’t always refer to 100% Merino wool.

What is the Difference Between Wool and Merino Wool?

Wool is a textile fiber that is obtained from the fur of furry animals like sheep and goats whereas merino wool is a textile fiber obtained specifically from Merino sheep. Thus, wool can come from different types of furry animals such as sheep, goats and rabbits whereas Merino wool comes from Merino sheep. Most importantly, Merino wool is softer and finer than average wool. It is also more flexible and less stretchy than regular wool. This is the main difference between wool and Merino wool. While people generally use wool for winter clothing, Merino wool is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking.

Difference Between Wool and Merino Wool l Wool vs Merino Wool

Summary – Wool vs Merino Wool

The important difference between wool and Merino wool is that the Merino wool is softer and less scratchy than the average wool. Moreover, Merino wool is obtained from a special type of sheep called Merino sheep.

Image Courtesy:

1.”3126914″ (Public Domain) via Max Pixel
2.”3677591976″ by Jean (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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