The Advantages of Wool: A Guide from Johnson Woolen Mills

Johnson Woolen Mills has thrived since 1842 by utilizing only the finest quality woolen fabric to manufacture its historic line of clothing and outerwear, as wool is undoubtedly one of the best natural fibers for clothing worldwide. Although wool is utilized in a variety of applications, ranging from grandma's hand-knitted sweaters to a Wall Street tycoon's $10,000 suit, at Johnson Woolen Mills, it represents a way of life. Delivering the world's best-known product requires a sense of pride in craftsmanship, a commitment to meeting every customer's expectations, and a drive to succeed.

Archaeological findings in Northern Europe reveal that wool was spun and used for clothing as early as 10,000 B.C., while the first spinning wheel was developed somewhere between 50 and 100 A.D. No synthetic fabric can rival the advantages of natural wool, from its ability to provide comfort in cold and harsh environments to its water and moisture resistance, ensuring that you will stay warm and snug in your Johnson Woolen Mills products.


Wool is a naturally occurring protein-based fiber that originates from the skin of sheep. It is one of the most efficient forms of all-weather protection known to mankind, and despite various attempts by science to replicate wool's unique properties, it remains unparalleled. Sheep can produce wool if they are provided with a nutrient-rich food source. It can be said that sheep have a relatively easy job, as they eat, sleep, and have their wool sheared periodically. Sheep farmers, wool growers, and wool producers all work diligently to protect the environment, enhance the welfare and productivity of the sheep, and preserve the longevity of this valuable resource.


When buried in soil, natural wool fibers will decompose quickly, unlike synthetic fibers that take a long time to degrade. Johnson Woolen Mills is committed to conserving natural resources, and therefore, we make additional efforts to recycle any unusable woolen fiber scraps. These materials undergo processing and are re-spun into yarn, rugs, and other everyday items that we all use.


Wool fiber has the ability to absorb and release water vapor as the humidity levels in the surrounding air fluctuate. During absorption, heat is produced and retained, making wool a natural insulator. The crimped structure of wool fibers results in the formation of numerous small pockets of air when tightly packed together in fabric, such as clothing. This feature enables the clothing to maintain its thermal efficiency while allowing moisture absorption and release. Therefore, a Johnson Woolen Mills coat, for instance, can absorb moisture up to 30% of its weight and remain both warm and breathable.


Wool possesses breathable characteristics that allow it to absorb odorous sweat and moisture and subsequently release it into the atmosphere before any bacterial growth can occur. This helps to prevent unpleasant odors from lingering in your clothing. Additionally, wool has innate antimicrobial properties. Bacteria are attracted to smooth, positively charged surfaces, whereas the coarse and neutrally charged surface of wool diminishes the accumulation of airborne dust particles, which can lead to allergies.


The wool fibers are coated with a waxy substance that repels all forms of liquid, while also enabling it to absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture. Hence, a wool coat from Johnson Woolen Mills can keep you warm, even in rainy or heavily wet snow conditions. These waxy fibers also deter stains from setting in.


Wool fibers exhibit remarkable tear resistance and can be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking, whereas cotton fibers can only bend back approximately 3,200 times. Additionally, wool possesses elasticity, enabling clothing made from this fiber to stretch and then revert to its original shape.


Wool is used by firefighters for their clothing, and bedding manufacturers employ it in their products to comply with fire codes. When wool comes into contact with fire, it typically smolders and then dies out. These findings are based on controlled tests and must not be attempted at home by anyone.