February 23, 2024

HumBird Wool

Deciphering the Complex Universe of Wool Textiles

What magic imbues wool fabrics with their unique characteristics? Today, we embark on a journey to unravel this mystery. Let's begin with the raw essence of wool and the dimensions of its fiber particles. The fundamental rule is simple: the finer the fiber, the softer. Yet, once transformed into a textile, this principle is just the tip of the iceberg. Join me as we delve deeper into the multifaceted realm of wool fabrics, focusing solely on 100% wool or wool blended with elastane to keep our exploration streamlined.

Unveiling the Influence of Elastane in Wool Textiles

Among wool fabrics enriched with elastane, it's intriguing to examine the role of this elastic fiber. Elastane, akin to rubber bands in various thicknesses, imparts elasticity to the fabric's structure upon integration. This alteration affects the wool's pliability and stiffness; however, akin to softness, it is not the solitary determinant shaping the fabric's drape and elasticity.

 Decoding the Knitting Precision

In the art of knitting, gauge is key when crafting jersey and jersey interlock fabrics. Similar to hand-knitting, machine knitting offers a range of gauges. A tighter gauge, characterized by more stitches per inch, yields a more compact fabric. The gauge is intricately linked to the yarn's thickness; finer yarn means more stitches can be knit per inch, resulting in a denser gauge. Can you fathom the intricate dance of variables involved in this process? The tighter the knit the less floppy the wool.

The Alchemy of Dyeing and its Impact

Dyeing is a transformative process that alters the very essence of fabric. Specific dyes can enhance the softness of wool, while others may not have the same effect. This factor plays a pivotal role in our fabric selection journey. Let's look at HumBird's interlock fabric.

 Embarking on the Quest for Perfect Interlock Fabric

The initial 95/5 HumBird interlock, now known as humoriginal, boasted exceptional softness and flexibility, ideal for children's wear. However, for adult apparel, a shift to yarn-dyed HumClassic, knit with a tighter gauge, was necessary, to increase durability. Subsequently, dye experimentation led to HumClassic in roll dyed, batik, and TV effect variants with all offering superior structure for adult garments albeit sacrificing some softness compared to its yarn-dyed counterpart knit at the same gauge. 

 Revisiting the Essence of Softness

In our pursuit of enhanced durability, opting for a tighter gauge for garment construct-inadvertently impacted the wool's softness. This change in gauge is the difference in HumOriginal and HumClassic. HumClassic is knit with a tighter gauge which increased the durability but decreased the softness.

If you are looking for a soft and flexible wool for kids and tops, all around interlock is your wool. If you are looking for a still soft but with a bit more structure, ideal for outdoor school and adult trousers, HumClassic yarn dyed is your wool. Having two interlocks here gives the customer the perfect wool for the perfect garment. 

Summarizing Flexibility

Contrary to popular belief, a fabrics flexibility is not solely dictated by the merino to elastane ratio. In truth, flexibility is a harmonious interplay of the elastanes size, the knitting gauge used to knit the fabric, and the yarn size all utilized in the intricate production of wool textiles. While it is not a simple answer, it really is what goes into the making of a fabric.

Charting the Course for Interlock Fabric in HumBirds Future

In the future, we will continue to yarn-dyed HumClassic for both adult and children's woolen products. A must have for adult leggings and for the rough and tumble outdoors. Additionally, the inventory of roll-dyed All Around 97/3 will be maintained, renowned for its plush feel and relaxed structure. If your preference leans towards a supple, soft, and flexible wool option, all around is ideal, especially for tops and children's apparel. Please be advised that adult leggings will not be featured in this material due to its inherent softness and drape, which may compromise durability under the rigors of adult wear.