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Pure new wool, merino lamb’s wool or shetland wool – what’s the difference?

If you’ve ever been confused by the type of wool you’re buying when looking for a new blanket, then you’re not alone. Our quick guide aims to simplify some of the terminology for you and make things a bit clearer.

Wool fleece

100% pure new wool

If it says 100% pure new wool, then the blanket you’re buying will be exactly that. No other fibres or synthetic fibres, just wool. It will also be wool that has been used for the first time, rather than recycled wool. Pure new wool may come from a variety of sheep breeds. Many of our blankets and throws are made from pure new wool.

Merino lambswool

Merino Sheep Half Shawn

This is also 100% wool, but is of a higher quality, coming from the merino breed of sheep that are mostly bred and reared in Australia and New Zealand. You will also come across wool products made from lambswool only. When it says lambswool, that means the wool originates from the first shearing of a lamb at around six to seven months old. Merino lambswool in particular is extremely soft and gentle to the touch. We stock several merino lambswool blankets and throws.

Shetland wool

Shetland Sheep

A label denoting Shetland wool is wool that comes from the Shetland breed of sheep, which was originally bred, as the name indicates, in Shetland. It does not, however, confirm that the wool originates from the Shetland Isles, although it might. Shetland wool is a fine quality of wool, known to be hard wearing and comfortable. We currently stock one Shetland wool blanket and will stock more soon.

Cashmere wool


Cashmere Goats

Cashmere is an extremely fine wool that is normally used to produce clothing like sweaters. It comes as a surprise to some people that cashmere wool originates from goats. The main breeds are cashmere and pashmina goats, and the largest producing countries are China, Mongolia, and Afghanistan. We don’t yet stock any cashmere blankets or throws.

Alpaca wool

Alpaca Wool

Alpaca is another high-quality wool fibre that comes from the fleece of Alpacas. There are around 22 recognised colours and shades, and it is well known for its luxuriant touch. You will frequently find alpaca products are blended with other wool fibres, although modern techniques allow more pure alpaca products to be produced these days. We don’t yet stock any alpaca throws.

If you're still looking for more reasons why you should buy a wool blanket, why not read our blog about why to buy wool.

Pure New Wool Throws

Merino Wool Throws