What is a micron and what is the difference?
What is a micron in wool?
The diameter of one wool fibre. This means higher the micron, thicker the diameter of the wool and heavier the weight of the finished garment.
What is the difference?
Microns of 20 and above are usually used for outer layer clothes such as wool sweaters, jumpers, scarves, wool blankets etc. This does not mean below 20 microns cannot be used for outer layers however. You can find alpaca wool jumpers and merino wool sweaters of below 20 microns because of the way the garment is knit the wool sweater can still provide a great deal of warmth and be naturally lightweight.
Typically, 20 microns and below are used for garments next to skin such as wool base layers, super base layers, wool underwear, wool socks, wool tank tops, etc.
What is the difference in touch?
Finer wool of the alpaca or merino, means a softer touch and less itchy. Usually the thicker the micron, the more durable and warmer the wool fleece is. However, as mentioned, the type of knitting the garment is made of can make it more durable and warmer. Arms of Andes mid layers and base layers are of 18 microns, finest micron, and have a knit of interlock. Our knit provides warmth and durable while being lightweight.
What is the difference in prices:
The lower the micron, the finer the wool, means higher in price because producing the yarn and cloth of fine wool takes more time. Thicker the micron means less production time and has lower costs. Also, fine wool is scarce compared to thick wool which is more available.
The photo above compares fibres of merino (thick and fine), cashmere, and alpaca. The structure of the fibre can also change the feel of the wool. The smoother the scale, the softer the wool.