Why is Wool so Itchy?
Wool is a natural fiber that is very warm. But why can some people wear it and feel no discomfort while others find it unbearably itchy.
People having skin conditions or highly sensitive skin seem to be the ones that find wool clothing itchy and difficult to wear. Creating a barrier between the wool and the skin may be the best bet in stopping the itch. Many higher end wool-clothing items come either partially or fully lined. This lining prevents the wearer from direct contact with the wool.
Other reasons wool may be perceived as itchy involve the actual wool fibers.
Wool fibers are created in various lengths and come in different qualities like everything else. Shorter fiber lengths tend to cause more itching because there are more individual fibers to rub against the skin, whereas the longer fibers seem to glide over the skin and rub less. The higher quality wool seems to cause less itching than lesser quality wool and may not contain additional chemicals.
Many people believe they are allergic to wool, but this is rarely the case. Winter skin is already drier and itchier so when a rougher fabric like wool is worn it may just be irritating a pre-existing skin condition. Age may also play a role. Younger people have thinner skin and therefore more sensitive skin. If you thought wool sweaters or dresses were itchy as a child you may want to try them again as an adult. You may find that you can tolerate wool clothing a lot better now that you are older.
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