Lambswool is the soft wool that is obtained the first time that a lamb is sheared, usually when they are around six or seven months old.
This wool is the highest quality sheep’s wool, as the diameter is finer and the wool requires minimal processing due to the staples being 50mm or shorter. As a result, the fibres are stronger, smoother and are able to hold more elasticity.
The history of lambswool
Various types of wool have been used in textiles as far back as 3000 BC. Even the earliest civilisations benefitted from wool, as it is durable, naturally insulating and water repellent. Some also stand out for their anti-microbial characteristics.
Because of this, woollen clothing is popular with everyone from shepherds in the highlands of the Middle East to fishermen in the northern villages of Ireland.
Key properties and qualities of lambswool
Many properties help lambswool stand out from other types of wool.
The fibres found in lambswool have special crimps, for example, which create air pockets that work to retain heat. A hard outer layer of this material also enables it to repel water, though it will still absorb humidity.
As a result, clothing made from lambswool is breathable and can regulate heat. They will allow you to stay cool throughout the summer and warm during the winter.
Do you suffer from a common allergy or asthma? Lambswool is naturally hypoallergenic as well as resistant to dust mites.
Caring for lambswool clothing
There are three main ways to care for lambswool clothing: dry cleaning, hand washing and machine washing.
Dry cleaning lambswool clothing
Dry cleaning lambswool clothing is a lot easier than hand washing or machine washing the material.
The chemical smell of dry cleaning will also deter moths, though bear in mind that these same chemicals can undermine the wool’s soft feel.
Hand washing lambswool clothing
For the safest way to care for lambswool, hand wash the clothing.
To do this effectively, start by turning your clothes inside out and submerge them in a solution of warm water mixed with a gentle wool wash product. Be sure to gently squeeze the suds through the clothing, but refrain from rubbing, wringing or stretching it.
Once the water runs clear, gently press the water out of the lambswool clothing and smooth it back into its original shape.
Machine washing lambswool clothing
It is important to check the manufacturer’s care instructions before attempting to machine wash lambswool clothes. This is because the various scales that make up lambswool can lock together in the abrasive tumbling of a washing machine, resulting in the clothing losing its softness over time. This can be the case even when you use a wool cycle.
If you are confident that your lambswool clothing can be machine washed, start by turning the clothes inside out and popping them into a wash bag — this will protect the garment from abrasion.
Next, place the clothing into the washing machine and set it away on the most delicate wash setting and at a spin of 30ºC.
Once washed, lay the lambswool clothing flat onto a towel that is clean and dry and smooth it back into its original shape.
Dunedin Cashmere and lambswool
Here at Dunedin Cashmere, you can find lambswool clothes and accessories for men, women and kids.
We also have a huge range of items for the home made using lambswool, including tartan rugs, throw blankets and cushion covers in a variety of designs.