We use natural fibre threads in Halifaks. Our yarns are natural performance fabrics developed over thousands of years, our fibres are skin-friendly, breathable, offer exceptional wicking properties, thermally regulated, sustainable, beautiful in colour and grip, and most importantly, comfortable.
Wool has a long list of benefits. Its fibres are naturally curled, so small air pockets are created when fibres are stacked together. This is what makes woollen fabrics warm, breathable, and naturally elastic. In addition, the recovery of woollen fabrics is high. This means that the natural nature of the fibre can absorb a large amount of moisture (up to 35%) before it feels moist. This moisture retention property also means that woollen fabrics have an odour and static resistance.
Conversely, while wool naturally retains moisture, many types of wool also have a natural lanolin layer that makes them somewhat water-repellant and stain-resistant.
B.C. We have been wearing wool since 6000 and have been raising animals for wool even longer. While wool offers many benefits, not all types of wool are the same. The wonderful fibre is derived from a variety of animals, each giving a unique set of characteristics. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are several different popular types of wool.
The main types of wool and yarn that should be known are as follows;
100% Lamb Wool
Lamb wool comes from the first slaughter of a young sheep (lamb), which is clipped for about seven months. Sometimes referred to as unprocessed wool, this term also refers to wool that has not yet been processed. The lamb slaughter at this stage yields extremely smooth, soft and fine wool that has hypoallergenic properties.
100% Chunky Merino Wool
Chunky merino wool is machine washable, has a natural protective outer layer that helps prevent stains, and combines with the easy-to-tailor and trendy merino wool, making it one of the best natural fibres in the Halifaks collection.
100% British Wool
Due to the UK layered sheep farming system, there are thousands of wool producers in the UK producing about 20 million kg of wool per year. Our British wool is knitted into our sweaters to give you an undeniably strong and enviably warm garment that will be a guaranteed wardrobe staple for years.
100% Extra Fine Merino Wool
Merino wool comes from the merino breed of sheep with its origins in Spain, but most of today's merino wool is exported from Australia. Merino wool is known for its fine fibres that provide an extremely soft grip and make it a great material for garments such as the base layers that come in direct contact with the wearer's skin.
Merino wool has a lower efficiency compared to other wool due to the washing process required to remove the oily greases specific to the material. Scrubbing washes the wool with chemicals to remove the natural lanolin layer, but the process yields only about half of the initial wool. This laborious process makes merino wool more expensive than other wool.
At Halifaks, your extra fine merino wool is imported from one of Italy's largest wool mills. Spanning almost 200 years ago, our merino products evoke a strong sense of value, quality and beauty thanks to the highest quality natural fibres. Our extra-fine merino wool range, available in a variety of summer colours, will always be with you in "what to wear moments".
Unlike artificial fibres, merino wool is a sensitive fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature. Merino wool keeps you warm when it's cold and cool when it's hot.
Knitted cotton is breathable, wicks moisture away from the body, is absorbent and removes fluid from the skin. These properties make cotton an ideal natural fibre yarn for warmer climates.
Halifaks offers cotton sweaters in a variety of soft colours, offering ready-made versatility depending on your plans.
100% Long Fiber Cotton
Our 100% cotton t-shirts and sweaters are made from breathable, long-fibre cotton and are washed with silicone to provide a superior grip.
Alpaca is a soft breathable yarn with properties similar to silk. We chose alpaca as the main thread of our socks because it is durable and highly insulating. Alpaca sheep have been adapted to cope with temperature fluctuations from -20 to + 30 degrees, resulting in a sustainable natural fibre with superior performance in daily use regardless of the season.
Alpacas are native to South America and produce hollow hairs. This unique feature not only makes alpaca lighter but also provides more insulation. It is both lighter and warmer than sheep wool.
Compared to cashmere, alpaca is similarly soft but noticeably stronger. Alpaca hair is naturally hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin.
100% Star Supima Cotton
Star Supima cotton is Pima cotton grown under license in the USA only. The star means that this is the highest quality where each fibre reaches 1.4 inches in length. This results in an extremely strong fibre and elegantly wraps around any snagged or loosened garment.
The noblest of all our fibres, cashmere is renowned for being the supreme fibre in fashion due to its incredible insulating properties, durability, colour, and grip.
Cashmere is cut from the undercoat of (Kashmir) goats when they enter moulting season. Because the cashmere is cut from the liner, the yield per goat is small and it requires two cashmere goats to produce a single sweater. The wool produced by these special goats results in an extremely fine fibre with the same thickness of ultrafine merino and a significant jump in price.
Shetland sheep from Scotland's the Shetland Islands produce this type of wool. It is thicker and coarse than other wool like Merino - a direct result of the region's cold climate.
Mohair comes from the Angora goat and differs from other wool for several reasons. Guard feathers on the topcoat of the goat are often included in the shearing process, along with the undercoat. Although the fibres are thicker, the mild climate in which Angora goats have bred means that they are not as coarse as other wool - the longer fibre length gives the fibre its smoothness and results in a unique pile fabric.
Angora wool, which should not be confused with Angora goat, which gives mohair wool, is obtained from Angora rabbits and is the lightest, thinnest and warmest of natural fibres. Angora fibres like alpaca are hollow and smooth, giving it an unrivalled warmth and ceiling. The fibres are extremely soft but also very delicate. For this reason, angora is often mixed with other fibres to increase its durability. Angora's extreme thinness makes it prone to matting - another reason it mixes with other fibres - but it also requires mohair breeders to comb the rabbits every day. This intensive process and low yield add to a high price.
Most camel feathers come from Bactrian camels that grow in cold regions such as Mongolia, China, and Russia and are harvested in the spring when the camel melts. Camel's hair is hollow like mohair and thinner and longer than sheep's wool. The result is a fibre that is lighter and brighter than sheep's wool and about as soft as cashmere.
Although camel hair takes paint well, it is usually kept in its natural colour, a light golden brown, and is used synonymously to refer to the colour itself.
Qiviut is wool obtained from the undercoat of arctic muskox grown in Canada and Alaska. During the moulting season of the Muskox, the undercoat is shed and the breeders collect the wool by combing or tearing it off the ground. Qiviut is thinner, softer, stronger, and about eight times warmer than very fine sheep's wool. It does not shrink in water either.
The rarest wool comes from the vicuña, an alpaca and llama-related animal from the Andes. Vicuña was sacred to the ancient Incas, who rewarded wool for its softness and warmth and separated it for the royal family. Wool is thinner and extremely warm than cashmere. Because it is sensitive to chemicals, it is often left in a natural state without dye.
The Peruvian government has been making great efforts to preserve the vicuña population since their numbers dropped to just 5,000 in 1960. Therefore, the harvest and export of vicuña wool is largely regulated. Vicuñas must be caught in the wild and can only be cropped once every two years and up to five times in their lifetime. Its long and tight manufacturing process makes it the world's most expensive and rarest wool, with up to $ 3000 in its yard.