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All About Wool

All About Wool

Since before recorded history, mankind has clothed himself in wool. Primitive man discovered that the woolly skins of wild sheep could be made into a versatile durable material which provided protection from cold, wind, rain and heat alike.

Over thousands of years Innovation and Technology have kept Wool at the forefront of clothing fabrics, developing cloths which are soft, luxurious and beautiful. To this day the basic qualities of Wool are unsurpassed by any other fibre, natural or manmade.


  • reacts to your body temperature, keeping you warm in winter but cool in summer
  • holds its shape and is long lasting
  • strong and durable, a wool fibre can be bent 20,000 times without breaking
  • fully biodegradable and easily recyclable
  • has naturally high UV protection
  • absorbs moisture and sweat making it naturally breathable
  • easily dyes to give a wealth of colour and design possibilities

HFW supports the Campaign for Wool which aims to educate as many people as possible about the incredible benefits and versatility of wool in fashion, furnishings and everyday life. The Campaign for Wool is a global community of sheep farmers, retailers, designers, manufacturers and consumers. We are united by our patron His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales.

Wool is a broad term for a yarn or fabric which is made from the fleece of an animal, usually a sheep.  The majority of our wool comes from the Merino sheep, originally from Spain, but now widely bred across the world, it’s revered for its fine, soft, luxurious fleece.

We also produce cloths from other natural fibres:



Camel Hair


Luxurious soft fibres combed from the belly of the Kashmir goat. Un-dyed fibres combed or sheered from the two-humped Bactrian camel Soft, shiny yarns spun from the cocoons of silk worms




Naturally lustrous yarns spun from the Fleece of the long haired Angora Goat. Maybe the oldest known yarn, made from the cool, lustrous fibres of the Flax plant. A soft, cool vegetable fibre which grows around the seed head of the Cotton Plant.


A man-made fibre using natural cellulose extracted from wood and plant fibres.

Woollen or Worsted?

Woollen cloths are made from shorter, often thicker, fibres and give a fuller, textured yarn, such as those used in a Tweed fabric. i.e Alsport, Harris Tweed and English Flannel.

Worsted cloths are made with the rarer long, smooth fibres and the resulting cloths are finer and smoother to the touch.  Most of our cloths are made with Worsted Fibres. i.e Classic II, Fresco & QZ

Microns and Super Numbers?

A micron is a measurement of the diameter of wool fibres, the smaller the micron, the finer the cloth.

  • Human Hair - 60-90 Microns
  • Carpet Wool – 35-45 Microns
  • Harris Tweed – 25 - 30 Microns
  • Hardy Minnis Classic II – 20.5 Microns
  • Hardy Minnis QZ cloth - 16 Microns

‘Super’ numbers are often used to refer to the fineness of a cloth. The Super number i.e. Super 120’s referrers to a cloth made with fibres of a specific micron. The higher the number, the finer the fibre.

Super 120’s – 17.5 Micron – H&W Chelsea

Super 140’s   - 16.5 Micron – H&W Blenheim

Super 150’s  - 16.0 Micron – Hardy Minnis QZ

Super 180’s  - 14.5 Micron – Hardy Minnis Utopia

Traditionally a high super number was synonymous with a lighter weight cloth but HFW innovative Q Project cloths have turned this notion on its head, by using a 16Micron Super 150’s yarn, to make a relatively heavy weight cloth. Click to view our QZ range.