Which Animals Does Wool Come From

Which Animals Does Wool Come From


Wool is an animal fibre. It is present as a thick coat of hair on the body of certain animals and keeps them warm. Air gets trapped in the spaces between the hair and does not allow the body heat to escape. That is why we wear woollen clothes in winter.

Wool from Sheep

A sheep’s hairy coat has two types of fibres: (i) the coarse beard hair and (ii) the soft under-hair, found close to the skin. It is the soft under-hair that is used to make wool. Scientists have developed certain breeds of sheep that have only the soft under-hair.

merino sheep

Fig. Merino Sheep

The wool from different varieties of sheep differs in fineness, r shine, length, and strength. The finest wool is obtained from the Merino, a breed of sheep originally from Spain (Fig.).

Their wool is very soft and light, and is therefore used in making the finest woollen clothes.

Rearing of Sheep

Sheep are herbivores and eat mainly grass and leaves. They are sometimes also fed a mixture of pulses, corn, jowar, etc. In India, sheep are reared in the hilly regions of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. Around the world, sheep are reared in countries ranging from the hot desert regions of Australia, Asia, and the Middle East to the cold countries of Northern Europe, Russia, Iceland, and southern South America.

Table gives a list of some Indian breeds of sheep and some examples of products made from the wool obtained from these sheep.

Name of the breed

Products made from the wool


Carpets (good quality wool)


Carpets (good quality wool)

Woollen shawls


Carpets ( coarse quality wool)


Hosiery like socks and stockings

Wool from Other Animals

Although the main source of wool is sheep, wool is also obtained from animals of the camel family, goat, and even rabbits.


Camel                                       Alpaca                                    Llama


Cashmeer Goat                  Angora Goat                Angora Rabbit

Camel hair is obtained from the very soft and fine fur of the undercoat of the camel. The Bactrian camels (hump¬backed camels found in Siberia, Mongolia, and China) give the best quality camel wool. The alpaca and llama also belong to the camel family. They are found in South America. Their undercoat hair is very soft and lustrous, and the fibres are light-weight.

The Cashmere goat is found in the high plateaus of Asia. The Cashmere fibre, very soft and warm, is obtained from this goat.

The Angora goat originally belongs to the Angora region in Turkey, near the present-day capital of Turkey, Ankara. Its fur provides a type of fibre called mohair. Mohair is very similar to wool in chemical composition but has a much smoother surface. It is durable, light, and warm, and is especially preferred for making ladies’ sweaters and soft coverings for furniture. The Angora rabbit is originally from the Angora (Ankara) region of Turkey. The wool obtained from the Angora rabbit is known as Angora wool.

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