Does wool make you itch?

(36 Posts)
Jemster Mon 28-Jan-13 10:03:00

I'm looking for new clothes and had some great advice here including to try and go for natural fibres. I've bought a couple of things now, gloves and a cardi both with wool in and they are making me itch like crazy and feel all prickly when I wear them. The gloves have had to go already!
Is this often the case with wool and I guess that means I need to avoid that in future buys. What are the other natural materials to look out for that won't itch?

WowOoo Mon 28-Jan-13 10:09:06

I wear a thin long sleeved T shirt under. I'm sure you do too.
Do you mean around the neck or somewhere?

Some wools are itchier than others. The more expensive ones tend to be softer and feel better on the skin.

Cotton and linen are nice. Some natural and unnatural mixes good too. Cotton with lycra for keeping shape for example.

MarshaBrady Mon 28-Jan-13 10:10:50

I have a 100% merino sweater that is that fine knit type and it's not itchy. Have you tried merino?

fieldfare Mon 28-Jan-13 10:10:55

Yes, I itch uncontrollably when wearing wool. I can only wear it if I have a layer on underneath wherever the item might touch my skin. Cotton works best for me, or cashmere and angora seems fine.

babySophieRose Mon 28-Jan-13 10:32:12

Cotton, silk and favorite. Wool is makes me itchy.

Theas18 Mon 28-Jan-13 10:34:56

Look for superwash wool. It has the outer "scales" removed and is pretty itch free. Superwash merino is a joy to wear. Cheap wool will likely be itchy.

Coarser wools - aran /icelandic type stuff makes lovely outer wear -warm and weather proof but not next to the skin.

teta Mon 28-Jan-13 11:03:12

I can't wear wool at all.Even a small percentage of wool in a garment makes me itch all over including supersoft Merino[and Mohair].I am fine with cashmere ,even entry level cashmere like Tesco's and baby Alpaca[i've recently discovered].I think the quality of expensive items is often no better than cheaper garments[my Tesco's cashmere from 2 years ago is better quality than the Wrap cashmere tunic that i bought this year at 4 times the price].

magso Mon 28-Jan-13 11:22:44

I struggle with most wools but can cope with cashmere and sometimes the softest merino and alpaca. I have to try them out because even over a long sleeve top the itch will get to me. Linen, cotton and non wool natural fabrics and knits are usually fine.

CaroleService Mon 28-Jan-13 11:24:41

I'm itching just reading this!

jennybeadle Mon 28-Jan-13 11:25:58

I can't do wool at all, not even the finest merino, but cashmere, even the cheap stuff, is fine.

Apart from that, just cotton, or silk. Anything else and my skin bubbles for days.

Startail Mon 28-Jan-13 11:34:11

DD1, me and DSIS are allergic to wool. DD and DSIS itch at any in the fabric blend at all.

DD has a lovely coat she can't wear, I have been given lambs wool scarves and gloves that non of us dare use.

It is very, very annoying.

Jemster Mon 28-Jan-13 11:38:25

Magso same here I will still itch with a top underneath. Scarves with any wool are a no no, I get a rash on my neck. Just checked a couple of my cardis, one is 6% wool the other 30%. Just touching them makes me feel itchy now!

gazzalw Mon 28-Jan-13 11:41:39

Don't start me on this one...

DW has very sensitive skin and was wearing her stalwart cold-weather cardigan last week. It's an M&S classic from the 1990s and seemingly indestructible, as it still looks in mint condition despite being a well-worn faithful. Well, the flip side to it being warm and cosy is that it's pure wool. She spent every evening that she was wearing it generally scratching her neck and getting annoyed.....and got a nasty rash from it too.

It made us reminisce about the home-knitted wool jumpers we wore as children and the pure wool coats. I know I used to walk around like a stick boy because if found wool clothes so uncomfortable to wear.

DD is always complaining about soft, non-scratchy clothes being itchy and we often comment that she doesn't know that she's been born....

The thought of wearing a wool polo-neck jumper is enough to send me rigid....

I am sure cashmere is entirely different though.....

YouHaveBeenOutbid Mon 28-Jan-13 11:48:59

I feel your pain!! I itch in wool too! I can tell if something has 5% wool in it just by holding it next to my skin for a few seconds. I don't need to check the label. Cashmere is slightly less itchy and prickly, more burny! I'd love to know where you can get good quality non wool jumpers too.

YouHaveBeenOutbid Mon 28-Jan-13 13:08:25

Oh dear.. I've killed the thread haven't I? blush

Dawndonna Mon 28-Jan-13 13:17:37

I'm allergic to wool, as with others, except cashmere, even cheap cashmere appears to be fine. Lambswool etc, even with something underneath, and I get highly attractive rashes with mohair!
Like outbid (no you haven't smile) I can tell just from touching something if it has wool in it.

I find I can wear wool more comfortably when it's really really cold out. I have a thick merino wooly hat that's fine in the snow, but as soon as its a bit warmer (say, 5 degrees) it itches like mad.

Cashmere is fine on me next to my skin. Mohair and rough Shetland type knits I wear a long sleeved thin top under.

The thing is nothing really beats wool in terms of warmth and bouncing back into shape ability.

DH wears merino long johns. Now that I could never do.

iMe Mon 28-Jan-13 14:23:20

I have a knitted wool dress that used to make me itch like crazy...I came on MN to complain and was given this solution: put the garment in a plastic bag and pop it in the freezer overnight. Yes, really. It's a once-off treatment. I was sceptical but it worked for me! grin

trixymalixy Mon 28-Jan-13 17:45:35

Even with a layer in between anything with wool in makes me itch like crazy. Merino base layers would be torture for me!

The freezer tip is interesting I may give that a try.

Branleuse Mon 28-Jan-13 17:47:59

wool makes me itch

sue52 Mon 28-Jan-13 18:18:07

Me too.

As many others have said, pretty much all wool except cashmere bothers me. I have a Merino cardi from Boden that is fine, but apart from that one I don't like merino next to my skin.

survivingwinter Mon 28-Jan-13 20:31:01

Can't wear wool at all - even a tiny percentage of it will make my skin itch like crazy.

So annoying as love White Stuff clothes but they can't do any knitwear seemingly without wool in it!

orangeandlemons Mon 28-Jan-13 20:39:15

I think what people are saying is wool makes people itchy ( including me!) but * hair* fibres don't. These are cashmere, vicuña, angora, camel and alpaca. I teach textile science. It's the scales on wool which cause the irritation. However, I also can.t wear polyester or acrylic, because they make me itchy too, which again is quite normal. I now only wear cotton, silk and hair stuff. Anything else makes me itchy. Silk is the least allergenic of all the fibre because it is a smooth filament, so has no itchy prickly bits on it.

orangeandlemons Mon 28-Jan-13 20:41:05

I rally hate cheap mohair which also makes me itch. Expensive mohair doesn't. And those hairy woolly coats. God I feel itchy just talking about them...and ugh boiled wool. Itching in 3d. Yuk!

orangeandlemons Mon 28-Jan-13 20:42:09

Freezing will make the scales lie flat for a bit. They'll soon spring back up though.

Jemster Mon 28-Jan-13 22:05:50

Glad it's not just me then! I will definitely be giving wool a miss from now on. Very interested to hear that other fabrics, non woolly can cause itching too as my skin often feels itchy and prickly but I've never worked out why, maybe it doesn't like those materials either. At this rate I won't be wearing much!

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Jan-13 22:43:40


Not even my wool Guernsey makes me itch.

Acrylic makes me sweaty, though.

gazzalw Tue 29-Jan-13 10:21:41

We are more into a cotton/man-made mix as a compromise. Agree that man-made fibres don't really keep you warm when you need to be toasty but do make you sweat...

DW was looking for a thick, warm cardigan for DD for Christmas. Very hard to find properly chunk knit children's jumpers/cardigans that are made of natural fibres and at a reasonable cost. The ones in Zara were man-made even though natural fibre prices!

MarshaBrady Tue 29-Jan-13 11:04:11

I can't do jumper dresses any more. I have one fine knit one in my cupboard that I should really get rid of, I used to wear them quite a lot. But they irritate.

stclemens Tue 29-Jan-13 11:23:17

I find (some high quality expensive) cashmere ok, but not alpaca, angora or mohair. Even extra fine merino can itch a bit, silk/merino mix better. Steer clear of lambswool!

orangeandlemons Tue 29-Jan-13 19:24:54

Mohair and angora make me sneeze.

GERTgert06 Tue 29-Jan-13 20:06:19

I have the same problem with wool, as does my adult daughter. The only natural fibres we can wear are cotton and cashmere. Shame I can't afford cashmere very often!

stclemens Tue 29-Jan-13 23:24:47

orangesandlemons we have a serendipitous meeting of nicknames...

jamaisjedors Wed 30-Jan-13 14:43:42

Me too, but even cashmere makes me itch and like others, I can tell just by touching if there's any in a garment.

I have invested in thermal underwear and silk tops to layer under things and I have to buy cheapish knitwear because all the posh stuff (and a lot of the cheaper stuff too nowadays) has a bit of wool in.

Watch out for linen too - it really itches me too!

CointreauVersial Wed 30-Jan-13 23:36:54

My biggest problem is angora. I always get bits under my contact lenses.angry

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