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Hand knit virgin wool sweater quality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Fashion Fan, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Fashion Fan

    Fashion Fan Senior member

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    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?
     
  2. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. Fashion Fan

    Fashion Fan Senior member

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    Thanks for your detailed reply. I learned a lot from it
     
  4. bexknitwear

    bexknitwear New Member

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    Sheffield
    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
     
  5. bexknitwear

    bexknitwear New Member

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    Well done holdfast I learnt a lot from that especially about virgin wool
     
  6. Fashion Fan

    Fashion Fan Senior member

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    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?
     
  7. aravenel

    aravenel Senior member

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    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.
     
  8. Fueco

    Fueco Senior member

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    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!
     
  9. Fashion Fan

    Fashion Fan Senior member

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

    Fashion Fan Senior member

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    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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