The history of the wool trade is fascinating and spans thousands of years. It has played a significant role in the economic and social development of many countries around the world and is part of the UK’s rich history. Wool was woven into cloth in the Bronze Age, which began around 1900 BC.
What are its ancient origins?
Wool production has ancient origins. The domestication of sheep in various parts of the world, including the Middle East and Central Asia, led to the availability of wool as a useful textile.
What was wool used for?
Wool was used to make a variety of textiles, including clothing, blankets, and carpets. It was known for its warmth, durability, and versatility. Woollen textiles went on to become a luxury item in many parts of the world.
When did the use of wool begin to decline?
In the 20th century, synthetic fibres such as nylon and polyester began to challenge the dominance of wool; however, wool has a niche market thanks to its unique properties and continues to be produced worldwide. According to British Heritage Travel, the Cotswolds is an area that has a rich wool history; in fact, the name ‘Cotswolds’ is thought to be derived from sheep.
What wool garments are available today?
Cardigans, sweaters, socks, fleeces and even underwear are made of wool. Woollen clothes give better warmth compared to clothes made of fibres such as cotton, silk, and polyester. If you like the idea of browsing for mens fisherman sweaters, check out stockists such as https://shoparan.com/mens-aran-sweaters/mens-fisherman-sweaters/.
What are the main wool-producing countries?
Major wool-producing countries include Australia, New Zealand, China, Argentina, and the UK. Australia is the largest producer of fine Merino wool, which is very well known for its softness and quality.
Is wool ethical and sustainable?
The wool industry remains focused on sustainability and ethical practices. Sustainable farming practices, animal welfare concerns and efforts to reduce the environmental impact of wool production are important, with many people keen to purchase eco-friendly and ethically sourced wool products.