An Overview of Wool Fiber

An Overview of Wool Fiber

Ramandeep Singh
B.Tech, Dept. of Textile Engineering
Giani Zail Singh Punjab Technical University Campus,
Bathinda, Punjab, India

Wool Fiber:
Wool is an animal hair fiber that, chemically, is made of a naturally occurring protein called keratin. This is a general definition that would include the body hairs of many animals but, in common parlance, the word is used for the body hair of sheep. This animal natural fiber comes from sheep fleece. The chemical structure is constituted by the keratin, a complex organic substance formed by amino acids. Its section is round, its structure is scaly.
Wool Fiber
Wool is a complex layered structure, as shown in Figure.
Structure of wool
(a) Overlapping scales of cuticle or epidermis cells giving serrated surface appearance
(b) Fiber cross sections showing cortex
(c) Longitudinal cross section showing hollow medulla
(d) Longitudinal cross section showing medulla lattice

Types of Wool:
As regarding the trade classification of wool, the available types are broadly classified as
  1. Merino
  2. Crossbreds (fine, medium, and coarse)
  3. Carpet-wool types
Physical Properties of Wool:
  • Thickness : 16 to 40 micrometers
  • Color : from white to black
  • Length : 35 to 250 mm
  • Density : 1.31 g/cc
  • Tenacity : 3 to 30 cN/tex
  • Moisture regain : 17-18.25% (at 65% R.H and 20°C)
  • Elongation : 25 to 40%
  • Flame reaction : odor of burnt horn
  • Electrostatic reaction : highly electrostatic at dry conditions
Characteristics of Wool :
  • Flexible fiber
  • Good moisture absorbency
  • Good dyeing fastness
  • Wrinkle resistant
  • Non - flammable
  • Soft hand
  • Sensitive to the sun
  • Bad rubbing resistance
  • Tendency to pilling
  • Tendency to deformation
  • Tendency to shrink
End Uses of Wool Fiber:
  • Clothing : sweaters, dresses, coats, suits, jackets, pants, skirts, blouses, shirts, hosiery 
  • Home furnishings : carpets , upholstery , blankets , draperies 
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Mazharul Islam Kiron is a textile consultant, entrepreneur, blogger and researcher on online business promotion. He is working as a consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.

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