Not all wool is the same. Some wool is softer than cashmere, while others are hardier and more resilient, suitable for carpets and bedding. Wool can be divided into three main categories, based on the micron (diameter) of each fibre. One micron is equal to one millionth of a metre and fibre length is recorded in millimetres – these are the main measurements which determine the quality and use of the wool.
· Fine: Wool with the finest micron comes from Merino sheep and is used for high-quality, soft-handling fabrics and knitting yarns. Fine wool is highly valued by the world’s leading fashion houses and is the hero ingredient of many Woolmark collaborations.
· Medium: Medium micron wool can be produced from a type of Merino or produced by crossing one breed with another (crossbreeding). Medium wools are used in a variety of woven apparel cloths, knitting yarns and furnishings.
· Broad: Many different sheep breeds produce broader wools. Often these breeds are known as dual-purpose breeds because they are farmed with equal emphasis on meat and wool. Broad wool is useful for products such as carpets because of its strength and durability
The average micron of human hair is between 50 to 100 micron.
Merino wool is generally less than 22 micron, which shows just how soft this premium fibre is.