The hair and skin of animals:
The skin of animals has a coat of hair that has a great demand. Like goat and sheep, the animal's hair is used in the manufacture of woollen clothes, shawls and blankets, mufflers and socks.
Similarly, the hair of horses is used as bristles in small painting brushes. The fur and skin of animals are used to make warm and modern style conditions.
The fabric fibres such as cotton, jute, silk, and wool are natural fibres that involve plant and animal fibres. Animal fibres are usually made up of different kinds of proteins. As cotton and jute are fibres obtained from plants, they are known as plant fibres.
Wool and silk are known as animal fibres as they are obtained from animals. Silk is a fibre derived from a cocoon of the silkworm, and wool is obtained from the fleece of animals such as sheep or goats. Also, from the hair of rabbits, yak and camel.
The term wool generally refers to the animal fibres derived from the furs of the animals belonging to the Caprinae family. Caprinae is a family of sheep whose fur is used to derive wool. The hair of animals such as goat, yak, alpaca and rabbit are also known as wool.
Wool is a fibre that is mostly produced from the outer coat of sheep. The significant difference between sheep and hair wool is that the sheep's wool contains scales that overlap each other.
The characteristic features of wool:
- Wool is a fibre that is resistant to heat, water, wear and tear.
- It can absorb moisture.
- It can insulate against cold and hence is a good insulator.
- It does not wrinkle easily.
- As it is a complex fibre, it resists soiling.
- It is durable.
- It has to ability to retain its shape.