Knitwear represents one of the key pieces in a man’s wardrobe: comfortable and warm is wearable in all seasons, depending on the model and the yarn. In many styles and models, and so also for yarns, they can be divided according to their origin: natural and synthetic. And so it’s for natural yarns, which are divided according to their origin: animal or obtained from plants. They can also be used synthetic fibers, but the comfort, softness and hygiene of natural fabrics are undoubtedly higher than synthetic.
The natural yarns obtained from animals are: Merino Wool from the sheep; Mohair, Alpaca and Cashmere from goat hair; Lambswool from lamb hair; Vicuna hairs from camelids; Angora from rabbit hair; Silk from silkworm drool. The natural yarns of vegetable origin (cotton, flax and hemp) can be added in various percentages to wool, to confer further characteristics to the sweaters, for example to avoid felting or to make them less warm.
The main yarn with natural origins.
The Merino wool is a natural yarn that comes from the merino sheep. These sheep, accustomed to extreme temperature, have developed special characteristics and peculiarities of their fleece: it can absorb moisture through its porous hair, funneling it to the outside and making it evaporate. Furthermore, the Merino Wool has an isothermal effect able to isolate the bodies inside, simply maintaining the heat produced by the body. The leaders in Merino wool can be also worn during the warm seasons: in fact, the inhabitants of the desert often wear wool coats under the sun. Another feature of this yarn is its peculiar pesticide effect, because the structure of the hair prevents the accumulation of dirt and, moreover, the Merino wool blankets are especially useful for those suffering from dust mite allergy.
Another wonderful yarn is the Mohair wool, warm, enveloping and bright, is characteristic of light and soft garments. The Mohair fiber, usually long and shiny, is often mixed with wool or other fine yarns. Its fleece is spun in a different way depending on the age of the animal from which it’s drawn, since aging changes its characteristics. When these hairy wool is processed, it’s good not to overtighten the yarn so that the hairy part doesn’t get punished through the net, in fact, it’s recommended to use a number of irons larger than what you would use for a yarn of the same thickness without the hair.
Luxury, softness, comfort and elegance are the main features of Cashmere (of which we have already discussed here). It’s the undercoat produced by a rare goat bred not only in Kashmir, but also in Tibet, Afganistan and Mongolian highlands. The criteria for this yarn are quite strict, especially regarding the process of shearing, which only occurs in late spring, so during the hottest time of the year. The wool that is made from these goats is second in quality only to Vigona, but to make more or less valuable the wool is the thickness: finer is and more valuable will be the wool. But why this fine wool is particularly warm and light? Its interior contains a particular structure that favors the thermal insulation, Cashmere is the most soft among all types of wool.
The Cashwool is a fine wool from the lamb, whose softness is comparable only to cashmere. White, light, elastic, durable, soft and slightly wavy, the Cashwool has a compact structure that makes it suitable for the production of knitwear of high quality. The wool is classified according to strict parameters and the fineness of the fiber is one of the most important factors that determine the quality of a wool.
Renowned for its lightweight, for its thermal characteristics and for that exclusive feel: is the Alpaca Wool. It is a lanolin-free wool, not capable of felting and not capable to cause allergic reactions, for this can also be worn on the skin. The Alpaca is the only animal in the world that produces wool in a wide variety of colors: more than 20 shades ranging from white to brown, from beige to black. The Alpaca garments are meant to last: hardly fray, stain or create static electricity. If we compare it with sheep’s wool, the fiber of Alpaca is stronger, warmer and much softer and lighter.
The Shetland wool is ancient arising from an English breed sheep original namesake from Shetland Islands. The coat of this animal can have different colors and the wool is of very high quality. May be slightly rough to the touch and is used for the production of heavy garments, casual and sports such as sweaters and jackets for the mountains.
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