British Wool Guide

British wool is known for its unparalleled quality and durability. From classic tweed to soft merino, this is the perfect wool for fashionable apparel and home textiles that will last for a lifetime. 

Let us guide you through the different wool types made by British sheep breeds, their benefits, and how to take proper care of them. Once you know all about British wool, you can make a well-informed decision about what wool products to buy, no matter if you're a seasoned wool fan or new you recently tried and fell in love with natural fibres.

British wool is famed for its hard wearing and versatile handle. Though often seen to be a coarse, dense yarn, the journey our British wool takes means that it has a surprisingly soft surface texture.
Our British wool is certified by the British wool board which means that it has passed through a grading system that confirms the quality of fibre, the conditions in which the sheep are flocked and whether or not the fibre is fit for purpose.
Due to the process of combing and spinning, there may be individual fibres that don’t take to the dye as intensely, this is due to their micron length and varying characteristics. This will result in your British wool jumper having undyed, natural fibres running throughout.
Taking inspiration from history and transforming itself into contemporary patterns and silhouettes, if you’re looking for a jumper that will last a lifetime, British wool will have you covered.
 100% chunky British wool luxury natural fibre knitwear

Continue reading to discover the five fantastic qualities that make a British wool jumper your new wardrobe must have.

Benefits Of British Wool  

1. Cost Efficient

Sourced and spun in Britain, it is a cost effective, low travelled fibre which contributes to the final price and low carbon footprint. When cared for correctly, the cost of your British wool jumper over its lifetime will pay for itself.


 2. Durable and Robust

Steeped in history, British wool has been the go-to yarn when making robust, outdoor ready knitwear. British sheep often live-in unpredictable surroundings with ever changing weather, this makes their coat incredibly heavy duty. Organically stain resistant and with a natural ability to retain its shape, British wool is an incredibly hardworking fibre that works brilliantly when knitted into complex and considered garments and accessories.


3. Insulating

At the centre of each British wool fibre is a cluster of spongey, hollow cells. When air circulates throughout, the structure naturally traps this air, distributing heat and enhancing insulation. Whilst a British wool jumper is often a chunky addition to your wardrobe, it also has the ability to let the skin breathe by absorbing moisture when the atmosphere is damp and releasing this when the air is cooler.


 4. Sustainable Fibre

Sheep are shorn every 12 months and grow a new fleece each year, this makes their wool an entirely renewable fibre and with over 60 breeds being taken care of by some 40,000 farmers, there is no shortage of this fantastic, durable product. Sheering sheep is a necessary process as without maintenance, sheep often find themselves susceptible to infection and overheating in the summer months.


5. Low Maintenance

British wool has naturally occurring oils and the fibre has a scaled structure, this means your jumper will not absorb dirt and allow for easy cleaning and upkeep. By absorbing moisture, wool reduces the amount of perspiration that sits on the body, which means that your British wool jumper will require less hard washing, often being revitalised with a quick freshen up in a breezy room.

What Are The Main Types of British Wool?

British sheep breeds offer several types of wool, each with its own remarkable properties. Here are some of the most popular ones.


Cheviot Wool

The Cheviot breed of sheep produces durable wool with long and strong fibres, perfect for making high-end fabrics like tweed.


Bluefaced Leicester Wool

Bluefaced Leicester wool is a soft, luxurious fibre often used in fine knitwear and other luxury products.

Shetland Wool

Shetland wool offers a soft and warm fibre used in hand-knitting yarns. It comes from the Shetland breed of sheep.

Jacob Wool

Jacob wool’s fleece comes in a variety of colours, and it is perfect for hand-knitting yarns and decorative textiles.

Merino Wool

 Merino wool is a very soft and warm fibre commonly used in fine knitwear, socks, and other luxury textiles.

Wensleydale Wool

Wensleydale wool comes from the Wensleydale breed of sheep, known for having very long and luxurious fibres. It is ideal for making high-quality carpets, rugs, and other textiles.

Paul James Knitwear products are designed with the highest quality materials, including extra-fine merino wool from Italy, chunkier versions from Peru, premium cotton from India and Egypt, ultra-warm and soft Alpaca fibre sourced in South America, and, of course, authentic wool sourced directly from the British Isles.


Is British Wool Warm?

British wool is known for keeping people warm as its wool fibres trap the air between them and keep heat close to the body, maintaining a comfortable temperature. Additionally, it helps regulate the body’s moisture in humid conditions naturally. Its warmth and insulating properties make it stand out in the woollen textile market.
Different types of British wool have different properties, so some might be warmer than others. In addition, merino wool is warm, delicate, soft and high-quality. The weight and thickness of the fabric often affect how warm the woollen garment or textile will be.
British wool is an exceptional fabric for making clothes and home textiles that will keep you warm when the weather outside is frosty.


Is British Wool Itchy?

Some people might find wool itchy because its fibres are naturally coarse compared to cotton or silk. However, most wool lovers find British wool one of the most comfortable and soft fibres.
The way manufacturers process and treat the wool also affects how comfortable and soft or itchy it will be. When they wash or handle the wool correctly before they turn it into yarn, the possibility of causing any kind of skin irritation is minimal. Moreover, the itchiness can depend on how heavy and thick the fabric is.
If you are worried about feeling itchy when wearing wool, you can wear something thin between your skin and the wool - an extra layer like a t-shirt or a camisole. You can also choose soft textures like merino wool sweaters with more thread counts to ensure maximum comfort.
British wool clothes are ideal for the winter months because they help keep you warm. Paul James Knitwear offers a wide range of stylish jumpers and sweaters made with high-quality British wool. Buy our products and experience the warmth, comfort, and luxury of British wool. Our collection of stylish jumpers will keep you cosy and in style. Browse our website to find the perfect British wool clothes for you or your loved ones.


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