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20 Properties of Wool and the Benefits of Wearing It

Properties of Wool
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Wool is one of mother nature’s greatest natural materials. Below I explain the properties and benefits of wool so you can get informed on why wool is so amazing. That way you can take advantage of this amazing material too.

I’ve been wearing wool for years and have firsthand experience with its amazing properties. The properties and benefits of wool may seem like they’re too good to be true, but they’re not. I’ve linked to reputable sources so you can research for yourself.

One of the best things about wool is that once you buy wool you don’t have to blindly rely on science to tell you it’s a great material. You will beyond any doubt actually notice the properties and benefits firsthand. Once you do you won’t go back to inferior materials again.

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Of course, you are not obligated to use my links, but it does help fund these posts in hopes of bringing more value to you!

The Amazing Properties and Benefits of Wool

1. Wool Provides Natural UV Protection

According to americanwool.org wool is much better at protecting you from the sun. It was said to be UPF 30+ in most cases, but I’m sure it depends on how thick the wool blend is. However, this means that wool is much better at protecting you from the sun than cotton and most synthetics.

2. Wool Is Hypoallergenic

This study, published as Debunking the Myth of Wool Allergy did not find any support that wool is an allergen. This means it is a great choice for individuals who suffer from allergies.

Virgin Wool From Sheep
Virgin Wool From Sheep

3. Wool Dries Fast

One of the best properties of wool is that it dries fast. Unlike some materials, like cotton, which traps moisture, wool wicks moisture which facilitates evaporation.

4. Wool Is Water-Resistant

Not only does wool dry fast, but it is also water-resistant. Wool will bead water on its surface, which can be brushed off, just like a rain jacket. Eventually, the wool will get soaked and will get wet but it keeps you drier longer than other materials.

You can also submerge wool in water for a short period of time (like if you fall in a stream) and you will still be quite dry. The outer part of your wool clothing might be wet but the inner part will still be dry. Its water-resistant properties kept it from soaking completely through.

Wool Fiber Structure
Wool Fiber Structure – Image From Here

5. Wool Is Warm Even When It Gets Wet

One of wool’s extraordinary properties is its ability to stay warm when it is wet. It still provides great insulation and protection from the elements if you get soaked. No other material is as good as wool when it’s wet. 

Surprising wool can absorb 30% of its weight in water and not feel wet because of the fiber characteristics and still retain 80% of its insulating value.

One interesting way wool is able to stay warm when wet is through a chemical reaction with water. Wool is a hygroscopic insulator which basically means the wool is trying to reach equilibrium with the external environment when it gets wet. To do this a chemical reaction takes place between water/water vapor and wool.

It’s been said that the amount of heat that wool can produce using these chemical reactions is similar to an electric blanket running for eight hours. 

6. Wool Has Antibacterial & Antimicrobial Properties

Because of the structure of the wool fibers wool is antimicrobial and antibacterial. This means wool can defend against bacteria and microbes. Why is this important? That brings me to the next property of wool below:

7. Wool Is Odor Resistant

Odor is primarily the build-up of microbial and bacterial activity. Because wool is antimicrobial and antibacterial it doesn’t smell and does not need to be washed nearly as often as other materials to stay clean.

Wool Socks and Wool Boot Liners For Keeping Feet Warm While Hunting
The odor-resistant properties of wool make it a great choice for footwear and for keeping your feet warm in cold weather.

8. Wool Is Stain-Resistant

Although wool can be stained, it is stain-resistant because of the structure of the wool fibers. A wool fiber is made up of scales, like the shingles of a house, which keep the liquids or spills on top of the wool fibers so it is easily cleaned off before it penetrates deeper into the wool. Just be sure to clean the spill as soon as possible.

9. Wool Is Self-Cleaning

If you’ve ever walked through bushes that have hitchhikers you know how frustrating it can be to get them out of your clothing. Wool has an awesome ability to slowly work these hitchhikers out on its own. It may take a few days of wearing the garment before they all fall out but at least you don’t have to pick them out! 

10. Wool Is Easy to Care For

Since wool is odor-resistant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, stain-resistant, and self-cleaning it requires very little washing compared to other materials. When it comes time to wash wool different types of wool require different washing methods such as; dry-clean only, hand-wash only, and machine wash. Just don’t dry it because it will likely shrink.

11. Wool Is Insulating and Warm In Cold-Weather

Wool is a top clothing choice for outdoorsmen because of its insulating capabilities. The structure of wool fibers creates a lot of air pockets. These air pockets within the wool fibers are what heat up and provide insulation and warmth, this is how insulation works.

Fool Fiber Structure
Wool Fiber Structure. Photo from SmartWool.

12. Wool Is Breathable and Cool In Warm-Weather

Even though wool is great insulation for cold weather, it’s just as effective in warm weather due to its breathability, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying capabilities. This makes it a better option than cotton and linen.

13. Wool Can Be Worn All Season Long

As you may have already surmised, wool is a great material/fabric to use all year long. This is because the properties of wool are extremely versatile and are great for any weather condition you throw at it. A thin wool layer is perfect for hot weather.

14. Wool Is Durable

The flexibility of wool is what makes it so durable. The flexibility is due to the coil spring shape of the wool fibers. One fiber of wool can be bent approximately 20,000 times before breaking. This makes them abrasion and tear-resistant. For comparison, cotton can only be bent +/- 3000 times.

15. Wool Is Wrinkle-Resistant

Because wool fibers are coiled at the microscopic level, it is able to spring back into shape after being bent. For this reason, it is strong and naturally resistant to wrinkling.

16. Wool Is a Very Quiet Fabric

Wool is a very quiet fabric, which is an important aspect of hunting and outdoor clothing. It’s also an excellent sound absorber and dampener and can reduce noise by 55%.

17. Wool Isn’t Reflective

Another great aspect of wool is that it is not reflective, which makes it another great material for hunting and outdoor clothing.

Wool Hunting Jacket Fibers - Raw Virgin Wool
Wool Jacket Fibers – Virgin Wool

18. Wool Is Fire-Resistant

A unique property of wool is that it is fire-resistant. This is great if you are sitting by the fire because you don’t have to worry about sparks on your clothing. Additionally, the smell of smoke will dissipate from the wool in a couple of days without the need to be washed.

This also makes it a great material for safety and putting out fires because it is self-extinguishing. Meaning it ceases to burn once the source of the fire is removed.

19. It’s Natural, Renewable, Biodegradable, and Recyclable

Wool is also a 100% natural, renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable resource. This makes wool an environmentally friendly choice.

20. The High Warmth-to-Weight Ratio of Wool

Wool is very warm for how lightweight it is.

L.L. Bean Maine Guide Wool Jacket (Uninsulated)
The benefits of wool make it the best choice for hunters and outdoor life.

More Wool Clothing Resources:

Common Stores That Carry Wool Clothes

Some great places to find wool hunting jackets include:

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Article Written By: Jason Tome

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