Pure wool and wool blends: What's the difference?

When you are investing in a high-quality piece of clothing for your wardrobe, you will, of course, want to make the right choice in terms of cut, colour and size. The material of your knitwear is not only important to know for your skin or allergies; however, depending on the materials used will also change how it holds shape and wear. Many people don't realise that their choice of material has a significant bearing on how a garment will fit, the shape it will hold, how it should be cared for and its longevity.

Not all materials will have the same properties, so handy to understand the difference between wool and wool blends. It's is especially important when you're buying woollen goods as there are several different types of wool and quite a lot of terminology to get your head around!

100% wool characteristics

The concept of '100% wool' is pretty simple; to be considered pure wool, a piece of clothing needs to be made from wool only and should not contain any synthetic fibres. Sheep's wool is the most abundant on the market, though other kinds of wool such as yak, cashmere jumpers and alpaca are all considered 100% wool products provided they contain only natural woollen fibres.

Some of the most popular and luxurious kinds of wool you are likely to come across are merino which comes from a specific breed of sheep, cashmere from the cashmere goat, alpaca, yak, angora wool from rabbits, and mohair, sheared from angora goats. While pure 100% wool is highly regarded, some challenges regarding its care and longevity can make it less practical than other fabrics.

Wool blends

A wool blend is made from natural wool blended with synthetic fibres. Most garments labelled as wool blends will contain a set percentage of synthetic fibres, and this will be detailed on the label. It's important to note that the addition of synthetic fibres does not mean a garment is of a lesser quality - quite the opposite. Cashmere and Cotton has taken the love of designing knitwear and poured this into developing a unique wool blend that is cosier than merino, just as breathable as cashmere, and meets our high ethical standards.

We have blended a small amount of nylon with luxurious yak, alpaca and merino wool to produce a beautifully on-trend collection we know you will adore. Seductively soft and luxuriously lofty, our Yak & Alpaca Knitwear has a homespun look that is rustic yet sophisticated and perfect for every woman.

This collection is not only wonderfully tactile and beautiful to look at, but it's also chunkier, warmer, and oh-so-easy to care for. The addition of nylon guarantees a longer-lasting garment as it allows for better shape retention while being super easy to wash at home, thanks to its carefully designed structure. Yak and alpaca meld beautifully with merino to give you the very best that each of these precious wools has to offer, and our Isla Wool Blend Longline Coatigan is a particular favourite among our customers this winter.