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6 Different Types of Wool Pants

Wearing wool pants full body photo shoot

You know what a wool sweater is. In fact, you’ve probably worn dozens of them in your life. You’ve seen soft wool blankets, maybe worn some cushy and soft wool socks. But you may not be able to spot a pair of wool pants…not even if you were wearing them. There are many types of wool pants that you may not have ever known were wool and some you’re going to want to wear once you learn more about them. There’s a lot to learn about wool pants and how they can be worn.

Nice Pants

Wool is one of those materials that actually has sort of been around for ever. At least, it’s been used by humans for a huge chunk of human history. People living in Mesopotamia in what is today Asia Minor used sheep’s wool to make clothing as early as 10,000 years ago. That was well before the pyramids were ever built. From here, using wool to make clothing was an idea that spread literally all around the world.

Ancient Romans cultivated sheep, which were easy to care for and easy to travel with, in order to have a ready source of wool at hand at all times. As they conquered new lands, Romans brought sheep with them everywhere they went. Sheep spread throughout Spain, Africa and the British Isles thanks to the Roman army. Rome had a wool processing plant working in England as far back as the year 50.

Wool was a cornerstone of the Roman empire and would continue to be a cornerstone of clothing manufacturing for the entire rest of human history. At least, so far.

When Wool Ruled the World

Wool helped to drive economies. From ancient beginnings, wool became an important commodity that could be used to gain different commodities, including money. Wool became an important trade good, a valuable domestic product and a fashion staple. At one point, wool was responsible for about two-thirds of the total income England made through exports. That’s pretty big business. And wool didn’t stop there.

Wearing wool pants near a storefront

Columbus brought a few sheep to Cuba during his second voyage to the New World to start a wool trade there. The idea kind of caught on. By 1665, there were 100,000 sheep in the Americas. How popular was wool in the New World? George Washington had a large flock of sheep at his plantation home and was inaugurated as the first President of the United States in a woolen suit.

In the ancient world and well beyond, lots and lots of clothing items were made from wool. But over time, humans have definitely learned how to refine wool-making techniques. There are many different types of wool and many ways to turn it into fabric. But from those very early days, wool has been used to make pants.

Now that thousands of years have passed, wool pants have become pretty darn sophisticated. There’s a good reason that people keep using this stuff to make pants and everything else you want to wear. As it turns out, wool is a bit of a wonder fabric.

Got Wool?

Why has wool been worn everywhere on the planet since the Stone Age? Sheep do seem to be capable of thriving anywhere. They have been domesticated all over the globe, even traveling across oceans to find new homes and thrive there, too. But it’s the wool they produce that makes people want to take sheep with them to all corners of the planet. People would have always figured out how to keep sheep nearby because the wool they produce is capable of making excellent fabric.

Wool is a natural wrinkle-resistant material that has many natural properties. It retains its shape well, it’s highly durable, it’s moisture-repellent and it’s flame-resistant, too. Wool also takes dye well. It’s soft to the touch and insulating as well, which is why it’s often found in blankets and clothing designed for winter weather.

Different Types of Wool Pants

It’s easy to think of wool as a thick material used in heavy winter clothing. But wool is a woven material that can be made in a thick or fine construction. Wool pants can actually be very lightweight and quite fancy. Some of the most expensive pants you can buy are made from wool.

This material started out as a Stone Age material but through the years, different sheep breeds have been cultivated to create high-quality wools that can be used to make all kinds of clothing, including pants. Some of the finest and fanciest designer clothing is made using wool. However, wool can just as easily be used to make the most inexpensive pieces of fashion.

Cashmere

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Cashmere is one of the most high-end types of wool and it’s used to make expensive, high-fashion pants. Cashmere is made from the hair of a specific type of goat. Cashmere creates a lightweight wool that is breathable and somewhat silky to the touch. It adjusts to humidity well and creates very soft pants.

Cashmere has a beautiful drape and soft feel and it can be used to make any type of pants, from sweatpants to gorgeous formal slacks. Because it’s considered to be so high-end, cashmere pants are usually pretty pricey and highly coveted.

Flannel

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Flannel is a type of wool weave that is medium-weight and can range from highly affordable to very luxurious. Flannel is very nice material that has a beautiful drape. It’s also comfortable to wear. Flannel is used often to make suits and pants. Dress pants and casual pants can be made from flannel. In fact, flannel is known for being one of the best suit materials. Gray flannel suits are a famous fashion item that they are just as popular in the man’s wardrobe as the little black dress is in the woman’s.

Flannel is so versatile, it can be used to make high-end dress pants but it’s also made to use highly affordable pajama bottoms. You’ve probably worn flannel pants at some point. They can be light and soft or thick and cushioning. Flannel is highly versatile and you’ll see it in pants of every kind.

Gabardine

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Gabardine is a tightly-woven, smooth wool fabric with a distinct diagonally ribbed surface. This is a very commonly used fabric for suits and pants. Gabardine is often used to make pants in casual, semi-formal and office wear styles. Gabardine is still used to make suits but this material was far more popular in suit-making years ago. Today, gabardine suits have more of a vintage look to them.

Mohair

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Mohair is a particular type of wool made from the hair of an angora goat. It has a nice finish once it’s woven and it’s highly insulating. Mohair is commonly used to make suits. It’s a more high-end type of wool and it’s known for its warming properties. Some people are allergic to mohair and similar animal hairs found in wool clothing. Before you buy mohair pants, spend some time with a mohair item to make sure you don’t have an allergy.

Tweed

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Though many wool fabrics are not recognizable, tweed is. This fabric is notable for its somewhat rough texture. Tweed is named for the Tweed River in Scotland. This is where the fabric was first created. Tweed can be made in a plain weave but it is often made in a check. Tweed pants are a popular choice for formal and business clothing. It’s a somewhat heavy wool that is found often in fall and winter wear because of its heavier weight.

Tweed is associated with classic fashion and academic style. So if you’re trying to strike an intelligent and classic vibe, tweed pants are a great choice.

Worsted

Worsted wool is the type of wool that’s most commonly used to make suits and pants. It has a smooth finish that works well for clothing items of all kinds. This is inexpensive and easy-to-make wool, which is why it’s used so often.

The Types of Wool Pants You Want to Wear

Wool is used to make all sorts of different pants, from the most casual to the most formal styles. Wool is used in professional suits, casual loungewear, gorgeous formal wear and soft pajamas You’ve probably worn many types of wool pants in your life. Maybe now, you’ll try a few more. Find out why this material has been in constant use for thousands and thousands of years, and how refined wool pants have become, by experimenting with wearing wool pants yourself. Explore this fashion choice and strut your style in wool pants of all types.

FAQs

Wool is a bit of a wonder material that can be used to make just about any clothing. It’s found in all kinds of different types of pants and it can be made in all sorts of textures and weights. But there’s still a ton of stuff to know about wool, like how to care for it and how it’s going to feel when you wear it.

We’ve got the answers to the most commonly asked questions about wool pants, so you know all the info you need to know when you’re thinking about buying some of those pants for yourself. When you know more about wool pants, you’ll know how to buy and wear them like a style expert.

Are wool pants comfortable?

Wool pants are made in many different types of knits that create lots of different textures. You can hold two different types of wool pants in each hand and they will feel completely different from each other. Wool can be the soft, fluffy stuff you find in flannel pajamas or it can be the smooth, elegant cashmere fabric found in the most high-end stores. It can be thick and warm or lightweight and breathable. This means that wool can be very comfortable, too. It can be light and smooth on skin or warm and fluffy.

Is wool itchy?

Wool has a reputation for being itchy. And to be fair, pretty much everyone has worn a wool sweater that felt itchy and uncomfortable at least once. However, there are many different types of wool and some of them are not itchy at all. Wools that have a fine texture, such as merino, are not itchy on skin at all. The types of wool most often used to make pants are fine textured wools that don’t feel itchy. Because after all, no one wants itchy pants.

How do you clean wool pants?

There are a lot of myths about wool. So many, in fact, that you might be afraid to wash your wool clothing at all. But all clothing has to be cleaned at some point. It’s just a matter of knowing the right technique. You can machine wash wool clothing but you need to do it with care.

First, turn your wool pants inside out. Wash wool clothing on the gentle or delicate cycle in cool to warm water using special wool detergent or a very mild detergent. Do not wash wool in hot water or it will probably shrink or become misshapen.

You can machine wash wool but you should not machine dry it. Wool should only be dried by laying it out flat and away from direct sunlight. Place wool pants on a towel and let them air dry first on one side and then the other.

Can you wear wool pants in summer?

Wool pants are great and all but aren’t they just for cooler weather? Can you wear wool pants in summer? Yes, you can. Wool can be not just lightweight but very moisture-wicking because wool naturally absorbs moisture. This means that not only can you wear wool in the summer, you should. Wool can keep you feeling cooler and less sweaty even on hot summer days, if you’re wearing a light and breathable wool that wicks moisture. In fact, wool is often used to make light summer suits that can be worn even on hot days.

Should you iron wool pants?

Wool is naturally wrinkle-resistant, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular a material for pants. Even so, you might want to iron your wool pants to get them looking their best. As long as you’re careful and use the right settings, you can safely iron wool. The trick is to use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric. The iron should be placed on top of this cloth, not on top of your wool. Do not move the iron back and forth across the cloth. Press it onto the cloth, press down slightly and lift. Repeat the process in a new spot, overlapping the first. Repeat this until the pants are pressed.

Sources:

American Wool – The History of Wool Fact Sheet

Ironing Lab – How to Iron Wool at the Correct Temperature Setting

Mr Porter – The Ultimate Guide To Wool Trousers

Sew Guide –30+ main types of WOOL FABRIC

Sierra – Wool

Woolmark – Washing wool pants