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Hand knit virgin wool sweater quality

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Can someone explain to me why a wool hand knit sweater costs much more than a non hand knit sweater? I get that its made by hand but since it is, does that make it high quality?

Lastly is virgin wool much high quality than regular wool? Does it also contain higher wool warming capabilities?
post #2 of 10

You've answered your own questions regarding the cost: more labour means there is potential to price an item higher (both from the perspective of the actual higher labour cost, and also the perceived added value of being more artisanal/"special" somehow, thus boosting what price the market will tolerate). If by quality you mean durability/lifespan, that's impossible to answer absolutely as it depends on the skill of the hand knitting vs the quality control of the manufacturing process. There's intrinsically going to be more scope for variation in a hand knitted product than a completely machine manufactured one. However, generally, I suspect the only handknitters left in (remotely large-scale) business are the old heritage brands where a high price has historically been placed on creating a good product.

 

Virgin wool simply means wool spun for the first time as opposed recycled wool. It's certainly superior (stronger/more durable) to recycled wool as the fibres are longer, but I've always assumed its usage these days is more of a marketing term as my hunch is that little recycled wool gets turned into clothes these days. I might be wrong about that assumption and would welcome more information/correction.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your detailed reply. I learned a lot from it
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

You've answered your own questions regarding the cost: more labour means there is potential to price an item higher (both from the perspective of the actual higher labour cost, and also the perceived added value of being more artisanal/"special" somehow, thus boosting what price the market will tolerate). If by quality you mean durability/lifespan, that's impossible to answer absolutely as it depends on the skill of the hand knitting vs the quality control of the manufacturing process. There's intrinsically going to be more scope for variation in a hand knitted product than a completely machine manufactured one. However, generally, I suspect the only handknitters left in (remotely large-scale) business are the old heritage brands where a high price has historically been placed on creating a good product.

Virgin wool simply means wool spun for the first time as opposed recycled wool. It's certainly superior (stronger/more durable) to recycled wool as the fibres are longer, but I've
post #5 of 10
Well done holdfast I learnt a lot from that especially about virgin wool
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Just got my virgin wool sweater. The wool is awfully rough for the premium I paid for it. Is virgin wool typically rougher than normal wool and does it soften up over time?
 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fashion Fan View Post

Just got my virgin wool sweater. The wool is awfully rough for the premium I paid for it. Is virgin wool typically rougher than normal wool and does it soften up over time?

 

Like Holdfast said, virgin doesn't really mean anything. Softness is primarily a function of how fine the wool fibers are. It may soften a bit over time, but don't count on it softening up a great deal.

Try something made from Merino wool, it's typically quite soft, though a bit more expensive.
post #8 of 10

Definitely get merino wool if you want something softer.

 

I like my aran sweater (handknit of virgin wool) just fine, scratchiness and all...

 

 

And, have you heard the old joke?

 

 Where does virgin wool come from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...ugly sheep!

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aravenel View Post


Like Holdfast said, virgin doesn't really mean anything. Softness is primarily a function of how fine the wool fibers are. It may soften a bit over time, but don't count on it softening up a great deal.

Try something made from Merino wool, it's typically quite soft, though a bit more expensive.

Thanks for your suggestion. I guess I'm a wool newbie. Going to specifically ook out for Merino wool next season.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fueco View Post

Definitely get merino wool if you want something softer.

 

I like my aran sweater (handknit of virgin wool) just fine, scratchiness and all...

 

 

And, have you heard the old joke?

 

 Where does virgin wool come from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...ugly sheep!


Ouch Lol sounds like I'm a wool marketing victim by getting virgin wool. I'm guessing virgin wool has no better heating properties than regular wool too?

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