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Is Acrylic really wool? what is the difference?

Jul 04, 2018

Absolutely Not! Most of us are ignorant about the fabrics we wear and barely ever bother to look at the fabric labels.

Acrylic is nowhere close to the real wool fabric. It is made of all synthetic fibers so there is nothing‘natural’ about it. It can be made to give you a feel that it is wool or cotton or any other fabric composition it is trying to copy.

Wool is a natural fiber whereas Acrylic is synthetic. It may look beautiful, be light weight, easy to wash & care and even more easy on your pocket but its made of ‘polyacrylonitrile’ ie, polymerisation of acrylonitrile which is a rigid, hard and a thermoplastic material. Well you could say its almost like wearing plastic.

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Acrylic and wool are two different fibres. Where acrylic is manufactured in a factory synthetically. Wool is a naturally occurring fibre obtain from animal sources. Based on which animal it is sheared from it gets its characteristics. (alpaca, marino, sheep, goat,angora,etc) . There is therefore an obvious difference in every aspect of these two fibres. Trying to explain this further.

Acrylic/ synthetic wool: being synthetic they can be manufactured to provide the properties as required, as it can be produced without the need to evaluate the harvest of animals it can be mass produced and therefore is generally cheaper than real wool. It can be home laundered and it might surprise you but it is much more sustainable (only if we recycle synthetic fabrics) than real wool. Since we can create a circular life with these products, they are sustainable .

Wool: On the contrary is obtain from animal and therefore their production cannot be estimated clearly.Further the quality is never consistent. there might be short fibres which are difficult to spin into a yarn and can lead to fussy appearance(lower grade). Chemically being both +ive and -ively charged when washed at home can cause dye from other garments to stain wool and therefore not recommended for home laundering (needs dry clean only). Please don’t think I am against natural materials, in fact I am a very staunch supporter and chemist working on natural materials, however these are the differencing factors. Natural fibres are biodegradable that means if disposed off it will disappear in the nature which makes it environmentally safe. Natural fibres are generally hypoallergenic, but there might be exceptions.

if you want to know more about acrylic and wool,contact me at chenqin@bmscarves.com!