Is Virgin Wool Itchy? Why You Might Be Feeling Uncomfortable

A lot of people wonder if virgin wool is itchy. The answer?

It depends on the person! Some people find virgin wool incredibly itchy, while others find it comfortable and soft.

Is Virgin Wool Itchy? Why You Might Be Feeling Uncomfortable

This blog post will explore why you might feel uncomfortable in your clothes and how to fix the issue!

About Virgin Wool

The term “virgin wool” can be used to describe two different types of textiles:

  • The first term may refer to a lamb’s first shearing. This is when the lamb’s wool is taken for the first time, and it is also the finest and softest wool that will be taken from a sheep during its lifetime.
  • The second term may refer to newly shorn sheep’s wool that has not yet been processed or spun into yarn. In other words, any wool that has not been recycled. In this case, the virgin wool can come from an adult sheep.

Is Virgin Wool Itchy?

Yes. It all comes down to the individual! Some people can’t stand how itchy it is, while others find it cozy and soft.

Reasons

freshly cut virgon wool
Freshly cut virgin wool. Credit: canva

Lanolin

One of the main reasons why it is itchier than regular wool is because it contains more lanolin. Lanolin is a greasy substance that helps protect sheep’s skin from harsh weather conditions.

When lanolin comes into contact with human skin, it can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in an itchy feeling. 

Not yet processed

Another reason why it might be making you itch is that it hasn’t been processed as much as regular wool.

Most impurities and short fibers are removed from the wool during processing, leaving only the long fibers behind. Long fibers are less likely to penetrate your skin and cause irritation. 

How to Avoid the Itching

  • If you’re sensitive to lanolin or other impurities in wool, you can try wearing virgin wool clothing that has been pre-washed or treated with a lanolin-free product.
  • You can also look for clothing made from Merino wool, a type of virgin wool that doesn’t contain as much lanolin.
  • If you’re still unsure whether you’re allergic, you can always test a small skin area before wearing it. 

The Benefits

Is Virgin Wool Itchy? Why You Might Be Feeling Uncomfortable
Wool slippers. Credit: canva

What are the benefits, compared to any other wool?

Depending on which definition you are looking at, it differs from other types of wool in different ways.

Softest and Finest Wool (First Shearing Wool)

When it comes to the lamb’s first shearing, as said before, this is the softest and finest wool a sheep will ever produce. As a sheep gets older, its wool becomes coarser and not quite so soft.

Quality and Strength (Non-recycled Wool)

When speaking of non-recycled virgin wool, the difference comes down to the quality and strength of the wool.

When wool products are recycled, they are often broken down before being turned into their new form. This breaking down of the wool fibers decreases their strength and hence means the fabric loses durability.

Durable and Breathable

Is Virgin Wool Itchy? Why You Might Be Feeling Uncomfortable
Wool throw blankets. Credit: canva

It is not only durable and soft– two properties that are beneficial in their ways– but it is also a breathable material.

This means that it allows our skin to breathe, which is an essential factor to consider when choosing what type of fabric to wear.

Moisture Wicking

For those concerned about wool absorbing moisture, whether sweat or rain, you don’t have to worry!

Virgin wool is moisture-wicking, which means any liquid wicked away to the surface quickly prevents you from becoming too sweaty or damp.

It is also insulating like many other types of wool, so it can keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Washable

It’s also dishwasher-safe, so you won’t have to worry about getting too dirty. Nothing a washer can’t handle!

FAQs

Is virgin wool soft or scratchy?

It can be either, depending on the type of wool and how it is processed.

Some is very soft, while others can be a bit scratchy. It depends on the sheep’s diet, how the wool is cleaned and treated, and whether it is carded. Carding removes short fibers and makes the wool less scratchy.

How do you make virgin wool less itchy?

Wear it in is the best way to make it less itchy. The more you wear it, the more the wool fiber will soften and become less irritating.

You can also try washing your wool garment before you wear it. This will help remove any excess oils that may make the wool itchier.

If all else fails, you can always try wearing an undershirt or layer under your wool sweater to help protect your skin from itchiness.

What type of wool is not itchy?

If you’re looking for wool that isn’t itchy, you might want to try merino wool. Merino wool is incredibly soft and smooth, making it much more comfortable to wear than other types of wool.

Additionally, merino wool breathes well and is naturally odor-resistant, so it’s ideal for people with sensitive skin or looking for a more natural fabric.

Is virgin lambswool itchy?

The itchiness of virgin lambswool will depend on the person’s sensitivities. However, natural fibers like wool are generally less itchy than man-made fibers like acrylic.