There are different types of premium wool, the most well known are merino, angora, cashmere and mohair. Only merino wool comes from sheep, angora comes from rabbit while mohair and cashmere from two different types of goat. Premium wool is not only soft and warm but tend to be very strong and long lasting. Wool generally is very good at maintaining body temperature at a reasonable level, not too hot or too cold . Merino wool has the added bonus of insulating your body even when it gets wet something which makes it an ideal natural fiber for sport and outdoor clothing.
Merino wool used to be produced in Spain from the Middle Ages until the arrival of Napoleon and was much sought after in the rest of Europe. Napoleon’s army destroyed the production in Spain which continued in Germany and in the following decades started in the USA, New Zealand and Australia, all these countries are still major producers. A merino wool sweater is a good investment as it will keep you warm indoor and outdoor for many years.
Cashmere is still used a lot for scarves and shawls because it is so light and warm therefore you can have all the advantages of a warm shawl without feeling its weight. Cashmere ponchos are also trendy, fun and very warm. Much of the cashmere on the market these days will probably come from China, this country has over 125 million Cashmere goats! If you buy an item made of Cashmere wool you are investing in something that will last for a very long time therefore try to go for a classic design. Cashmere needs a bit of tender love and care when washing it, always hand wash in lukewarm water and then place it between two towels to absorb the moisture.
In this way it will keep its shape and elasticity for many years to come. You will find a lot of inspiration on the internet, if you are so inclined you can also make your own sweaters and scarves with the premium wool of your choice.