British Wool for British Textile Week
Owned by approximately 40,000 sheep farmers in the UK, British Wool collects, grades, markets and sells British wool on behalf of producers to the international wool textile industry for use in flooring, furnishings and apparel.
About British wool
Wool fabric is incredibly versatile thanks to the many natural features and benefits of wool fibre. A sustainable and renewable option, wool fabric is used for clothing, furniture and other interior products, offering practicality, beauty and versatility across different types of products.
Resilient and durable: Inside every single wool fibre there’s a spring-like structure, which allows it to return to its natural shape, even after being stretched by up to 30%. This complex structure continually resists flattening and damage from stretching, reducing wear, preventing sagging and allowing fabric to hang beautifully.
Safe: Wool is a safe and practical option for interior schemes. Naturally fire resistant and hypoallergenic, wool fibre has the ability to absorb and lock away pollutants like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), often found in cleaning products, paint, glue and furniture. This feature allows wool products to clean the air around you, resulting in a healthier environment.
Easy to clean: Wool is very easy to maintain, with a natural resistance to dirt and stains. The natural oils and scaled structure of wool fibre keeps dust and dirt from penetrating into the fibre, meaning a better appearance is maintained for longer. The scales on the outside of wool fibre cause liquids to bead up and stay on the surface, helping to keep wool products stain free.
Naturally anti-static: Wool is naturally anti-static because of its ability to hold moisture, which means it will not build up an electric charge. This feature offers benefits for clothing and interior furnishings – wool garments won’t cling, and since static attracts dirt, lint and dust, wool cloth used for furnishings stays cleaner for longer.
Beautiful colours: Wool absorbs dyes deeply, locking colour within its fibres, to produce beautiful hues with a rich and natural bloom that remains colourfast. From fine, silky smooth fabrics to chunky textural weaves, wool offers a natural, subtle lustre that synthetic fibres struggle to replicate.
British Wool clothing & apparel
British wool has been used for centuries to make quality cloth, producing unique and distinctive items of clothing for some of the world’s leading brands including Harris Tweed and Savile Row.
Hard-wearing: Using British wool in a fabric blend helps it withstand continuous wear, preventing creasing in key areas such as knees, elbows and seating. It also creates a beautiful handle and a crisp tailored look.
Breathable: The tiny air pockets in wool fibre help to keep us warm in winter, and thanks to wool’s breathable qualities, also cool in summer. This fantastic quality makes wool clothing and apparel an incredibly versatile choice for the unpredictable British climate!
Adaptable: Over 60 different British sheep breeds offer a huge range of natural colour shades and textures. Some breeds produce wool with a lustrous sheen, some are chunky and hardwearing, some are fine and soft; others are naturally coloured and produce distinctive effects when dyed. These natural features offer complete versatility when designing fabric for clothing and apparel.
British wool: the science behind the fibre
It might be pouring with rain, snowing, windy or beautifully sunny – whatever the weather, you’ll always see sheep grazing happily in the British countryside. And that’s thanks to their clever wool coats, which protect them in all weathers!
Wool is an amazing natural fibre. Composed of proteins, its complexity provides many features and benefits that man-made fibres could never replicate, offering complete flexibility and superior performance characteristics. Read more
Companies currently using British wool
Knitwear (manufacturer and brand)
- Channel Jumpers
- Outdoor Knitwear
- Richmond Knitwear
- Highland 2000
- JM Cooper/Woolaway
- Le Tricoteur Guernsey Ltd
- The Original Yorkshire Clothing Company
UKFT’s British Textile Week is a digital showcase of the craftsmanship, imagination and innovation of the UK textile industry.