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Know Your Wool: Lambswool & Merino wool

Know Your Wool: Lambswool & Merino wool

Knitting Diaries

Choosing between Lambswool and Merino Wool can be quite the cumbersome job at times. Sometimes one may not find any difference between the two. And more often than not, you can see garments/yarns listed as 25% lambswool, 45% merino or so.

Universally, the only difference between wools is measured in microns. Microns are the diameter of the follicle of wool. Since wool is a natural fiber, it has follicles like our own hair. It is measured through a microscope and the smaller the micron count, the softer the wool is. Obviously the smaller the micron count, the more expensive the wool.

The natural characteristic of the fiber comes at a later step. These characteristics include waviness, flexibility, crimp, insulation properties, affordability, sourcing, draping, etc. Different kinds of yarn in the world are usually graded with these characteristics in mind. Today, let's take a closer look at Lambswool and Merino wool.

Lambswool vs. Merino Wool

The most confusing aspect about the both yarns is the fact that they are both sheep wools.

  • Lambswool is usually taken from the first shearing of sheep which is ideally at seven months from the onset of the first coat.
  • Merino wool comes from Merino sheep that are bred especially for wool production. They continue to produce yarn throughout their lives.
  • Lambswool fibers can come from any sheep, therefore, the micron count is highly inconsistent. Merino wool fibers can be found to be 21.5 microns on average and are more uniform as compared to Lambswool.
  • Since lambswool comes from the first shearing, it can get quite expensive sometimes. Merino wool, while still can get really expensive, usually retains a rather stable price point.
  • Lambswool is literally yarn from the lamb which means that the wool is exceptionally soft. Merino wool, while equally soft, has other properties to make it different from lambswool.

Uses of Lambswool vs Merino Wool

  • Lambswool is warmer than merino wool, thereby making the former a more suitable choice for colder climates.
  • Lambswool is a great choice for hats, gloves, scarves while merino can also be used for socks, home accessories, children’s garments, etc.
  • Merino wool has different diameters of fiber and can be used for/found in several different garments. On the contrary, lambswool might not have too many applications.
  • Merino wool breathes much better than lambswool which makes merino a choice throughout the year.
  • Both merino wool and lambswool are incredibly strong and will last you a long time.

Which is better: Merino or Lambswool?

Usually, better yarn is associated with softness and it has always been a question of the hour to find out which yarn is actually softer, merino or lambswool. However, a lot of factors play a role in the softness of yarn. It solely depends on the part of the world you are in. Lambswool may be softer in one part of town while merino in another. There are also huge differences in the type of lambs and merino wool that you get makes it almost impossible to decide which one beats the other. For example, some lambswool may contain more inconsistencies than the other and with merino wool, there are several different categories to choose from. Usually, it is based on the diameter of the wool.

The ultimate choice between these yarns depends on the user. Both are incredibly durable and long lasting making them an ideal choice for whatever you choose to knit. Merino is usually chosen for sweaters, socks, blankets and more while lambswool may be excellent for blankets, bedding, scarves, mittens, etc.

If you have more questions about which fiber is the best choice for you, feel free to write to us at or call us at 8146625292.

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