soft, warm and natural
Wool and yarn can be one of the natural fibres but also can be man made from acrylic. Many years ago this fibre was the symbol of bravery, power and wealth.
Fibres from animals were first spun and made into cloth around seven
thousand years ago and gave the people an alternative to animal skins to
wear. The others fibres occurring naturally are silk, cotton and linen.
Wool mainly comes from the fleece of a sheep and the types of sheep bred today produce about twice as much fleece as about a century ago. The quality of this fibre is different depending on the type of sheep and country it comes from.Australian sheep have a finer fleece than the sheep in England. Other countries are New Zealand, China and the United States that also produce large amounts with Great Britain, India and Turkey producing smaller amounts.
Wool and yarn not only come from sheep but other available varieties of this fibre come from rabbits, llamas, alpacas and goats.
Turning these into cloth needs first spinning where the plant fibres are sort of twisted into yarn and then weaving where two different yarns and interwoven at right angles to each other to get a fabric. For knitting the yarn is just spun and then could be twisted with another yarn to get a different quality or a stronger thicker wool for knitting.
One of the most appealing qualities of this fabric is its warmth,
usually it is made into clothing, blankets and yarn for knitting.
Wearing a woollen garment copies the insulation that wool gives to the
animal by trapping a layer of air between the skin and the garment.
The cloth made from this fibre has a close texture and is warm. Another type of cloth is worsted, which is a finer texture due to the threads being combed first before spinning and weaving into the fabric.
Fabrics made from this natural fibre are not very strong for cushion covers. Strength can be given by mixing this with other fibres such as nylon.
Felt is made by matting hairs together instead of weaving them. This makes a cloth that is a good insulator and is used in a variety of ways. Felt is really good in appliqué as the seams do not need to be turned under as it will not fray.
Different textures can be introduced to your room, by making knitted cushion covers. These can be knitted in different styles of stitches to provide different patterns.
Cleaning this fabric can be done either by washing or by dry cleaning.