There is much more to this refined fabric than meets the eye! Discover how boiled wool is made and why you should be investing in it in our latest fabric feature.

Why should you invest in boiled wool?

Boiled wool is a more refined fabric that doesn't have the itchiness that is typically associated with wool and is warmer yet breathable, making it suitable for the changeable weather. The softness and comfort it provides are just some of the reasons why this stunning jacket makes the perfect layering piece: cut in a new shape, it is made from pure virgin wool and will take you from season to season.

Wool is a wonder fibre! It's sustainable, biodegradable, insulating and breathable, making it the perfect fibre for transitional outerwear. For centuries boiled wool has been favoured for its superior properties. The process of creating boiled wool is similar to creating felt which was known as felting or fulling. Since the Middle Ages, we have records of boiled wool manufacture when it was referred to as 'feltaz' a Germanic word for felt. This beautiful illumination from a medieval manuscript depicts a woman weaving the wool before boiling.

So how is boiled wool made?

Boiled wool is made by knitting the woollen fibres together and it is then placed in vats of hot, not necessarily boiling, water. In the past, the fabric would be stirred by hand and then by mills but today giant machines, similar to domestic washing machines, spin round mechanically, agitating the fibres. It is the combination of movement and heat that causes the barbs on the wool fibres to lock together and become more dense and felt-like. This process utilises the natural properties of wool to produce a more resilient fabric.

This process creates a fabric that is warmer, more durable, windproof and water-resistant, as the fibres are tighter and more compact. Dying the fabric can be done before or after the felting process. The fabric is surprisingly warm considering it is not as bulky as its unboiled counterparts, which is why it is chosen for sophisticated outerwear as you can create pieces that are flattering with all the benefits of wool.

The result is your cool weather staple that is timeless and versatile. In a soft brushed boiled wool fabric, this jacket is fully lined and styled with raglan sleeves, gentle waist shaping in the seams, a neat collar and in-seam pockets. Take a look here >

For more interesting updates and special offers, sign up for our email newsletters here >